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Summary

Purkinje cerebellar cells were studied in three Arabian horses aged between 6 and 8 months with clinical disorders in their movements, tremors and ataxia; the occurrence of apoptosis in this cell population was investigated by the (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase biotin-dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) method. Both optical and electron microscopical images showed a scant number of Purkinje cells, most of them with morphological features of apoptosis such as condensation of the nucleus and cytoplasm as well as segregation and fragmentation of the nucleus into apoptotic bodies. The TUNEL technique revealed a substantial number (65%) of positive immunoreactive Purkinje cells.