The minor active component of bee venom was applied to mouse neuroblastoma cultures. The cytological changes observed are reported. After 8–10 h of incubation with 5 µg/ml of apamin in the culture medium, considerable retractions of the processes are apparent. Electron microscopically, the alterations seen are predominantly found in the subcellular organelles. The peculiar configuration of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is striking. Concentric whorls of cisternae seem to engulf the remaining ground substance. Following a 24-hour incubation with 5 µg/ml of apamin, the cell membrane disintegrates. A deeply infolded nucleus, vacuoles and remnants of cell organelles are present. The previously intact synapses are totally degenerated. Similar experiments using lower concentrations of apamin do not depict any apparent changes either light or electron microscopically.

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