Acute endothelial swelling is induced in endoneurial microvessels by ischemia

Timothy John Benstead, Virgilio E. Sangalang, Peter James Dyck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Structural alterations of endoneurial microvessels occur in diabetic neuropathy and are statistically associated with severity of nerve fiber loss and teased fiber abnormality. It is therefore hypothesized that the microvessel alterations may cause or contribute to pathologic alterations of nerve fibers in diabetic neuropathy, possibly through hypoxic injury. The mechanism of the microvessel change in diabetic neuropathy is unknown. The role of microvessels and details of microvessel structure in other possible ischemic neuropathies has not been studied completely. Already there is evidence that hypoxia induces endothelial swelling but this has not been characterized or quantitated in nerve. To determine the acute morphologic effect of ischemia on ultrastructural features of transverse profiles of endoneurial microvessels major pelvic arteries were ligated in rats. At 36 h mean lumen and mural areas were greater in ischemic than in control nerves. All components (endothelium, pericytes and basement membrane) were on average greater in ischemic than controls. The greatest increase was in endothelial cells. In these cells swollen mitochondria were abundant. This study demonstrates that acute ischemia induces swelling of the cells and organelles of endoneurial microvessels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-49
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the neurological sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1990


  • Ischemic neuropathy
  • Microvessels
  • Morphometry
  • Swelling of endothelial cells and organelles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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