The application of symbolic logic to organelle pathology: Reaction patterns deduced from morphometric data

U. N. Riede, G. W. Moore, W. Sandritter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Morphometry permits us to obtain exact measurements on the structure of the organism, from which we are tempted to draw conclusions as to its functional status. This often leads to false interpretations, however, because not every structural increase in an organelle corresponds to an increase in its function. Thus the size of a structure is not always proportional to the level of its function. Symbolic logic is a mathematical language in which descriptive statements and quantitative data are placed in formal relationship to one another, and their logical consequences are determined. Using quantitative organelle pathology expressed in terms of symbolic logic and morphometric data from 115 experiments in the literature, we constructed a system of non-contradictory, mutually exclusive reaction patterns for mitochondria, mitochondrial cristae, rough endoplasmic reticulum, and peroxisomes. We demonstrated that 83% of the experiments showed monotonous patterns which could be classified by symbolic logic as having a cytoplasmic adaptive reaction in the alarm phase, resistance phase, or exhaustion phase. The remaining experiments were difficult to classify because they fell into transitional phases. We conclude that the morphometric configuration of the oxidative compartment (= mitochondria, peroxisomes) governs the configuration of the synthetic compartment (= rough endoplasmic reticulum).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-187
Number of pages23
JournalPathology Research and Practice
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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