Submicroscopic changes in the structural components of thymus under the action of nalbuphine on the body


  • T. V. Harapko Uzhhorod National University, Ukraine,
  • A. S. Holovatskyi Uzhhorod National University, Ukraine,



thymus, nalbuphine, thymocytes, epithelial cells, apoptosis


In medicine narcotic analgesics have long been used for therapeutic purposes, but their influence on the organs of the immune system is insufficiently studied.

Aim of the work was the investigation of submicroscopic changes in the structural components of the thymus of white male rats in the dynamics of six weeks exposure of the nalbuphine to the body and one week after its abolition.

Materials and methods. The study was conducted on 52 white male rats of reproductive age with an initial body weight of 140–150 g. The drug "Nalbuphine" was injected intramuscularly 1 time per day at 10–11 o’clock during 42 days, increasing the dose every 7 days. Experimental animals are divided into 8 groups: the first group – intact animals; opioid nalbuphine was daily injected intramuscularly at a dose of 8 mg/kg in the second group within 1 week; in the third group twithin 2 weeks nalbuphine dose increased to 15 mg/kg; in the fourth group within 3 weeks nalbuphine dose increased to 20 mg/kg; in the fifth group within 4 weeks nalbuphine dose increased to 25 mg/kg; in the sixth group within 5 weeks nalbuphine dose increased to 30 mg/kg; in the seventh group within 6 weeks nalbuphine dose increased to 35 mg/kg; in the eighth group material was taken one week after discontinuation of therapy. The material was collected in accordance with generally accepted rules. The slices were made on UMTP–6M ultramicrotome using diamond knife (DIATOM) and double-contrasted according to Reynolds and with uranyl acetate. The thymus sections were investigated using an electronic TEM–100 transmissive microscope. The photo documentation of studied material was carried out using SONY–H9 digital camera.

Results. After one week of experiment, the intercellular space is expanded. Two weeks later, the contours of thymocyte nuclei are uneven, blurred. Three to four weeks there are destructive degenerative changes of thymocytes and epithelial reticular cells. Five to six weeks later, part of thymocytes and epithelial reticular cells have picnotic osmiofilic nuclei, an increase in the number of destructively altered thymocytes, epithelial reticular cells and macrophages with picnotial nuclei and in the state of apoptosis. One week after the discontinuation of nalbuphine, there are numerous destructively altered thymocytes and epithelial reticular cells and cells in the state of apoptosis, the nuclear membrane and plasmalemma have been damaged in some places.

Conclusions. With a short-term effect of nalbuphine on the body for 2 weeks, there are no significant structural changes in the thymus. Under the action of nalbuphine for 3-4 weeks there are destructive-degenerative changes of the structural components of the thymus. With prolonged action of nalbuphine within 5-6 weeks, deep destructive degenerative changes occur, which are not restored even a week after discontinuation of the drug.


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How to Cite

Harapko TV, Holovatskyi AS. Submicroscopic changes in the structural components of thymus under the action of nalbuphine on the body. Pathologia [Internet]. 2017Dec.22 [cited 2024Jun.13];(3). Available from:



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