Ultrastructural analysis of astroglial cells. (a) Control cell line. The cells are large with irregular nuclei composed mainly by euchromatin with a few peripheric heterochromatin. Numerous dense mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum are shown in the cytoplasm (original magnification, ×3800). (b) Incubation of astroglial cells with NAC did not modify ultrastructural images of astroglial cells (original magnification, ×3800). (c) Astroglial cells exposed to HIV-1 undergo apoptotic cell death 3 days after exposure. In fact, the cells displayed an increase of plasma-membrane protrusions and cytoplasmic blabbing and large vacuoles as a result of cytoplasmic loss. The chromatin is condensed and marginalized, expressing DNA fragmentation (original magnification, ×3800). (d) The effect of HIV on astroglial cells is strongly antagonized by coincubation with NAC. In particular, it is shown that cells maintain the normal architecture and the normal ratio between cytoplasm and nuclei, which appear almost completely normal (original magnification, ×3800).
Pollicita et al. BMC Neuroscience 2009 10:51 doi:10.1186/1471-2202-10-51