Axonal caliber and neurofilaments are proportionately decreased in galactose neuropathy

Hitoshi Nukada, Peter J. Dyck, Phillip A. Low, Alfred C. Lais, Margaret F. Sparks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Feeding galactose to rats induces nerve conduction abnormalities, increased levels of nerve galactitol, endoneurial edema, elevated pressure and hypoxia of endoneurial fluid, and pathological abnormalities of nerve fibers. To investigate the cellular mechanisms of the fiber lesions and their possible relationship to alterations in the nerve microenvironment, rat peroneal nerves were morphometrically evaluated eight months after the commencement of galactose feeding. Whereas the density of neurofilaments (NF/μm2) in the transverse axonal area of myelinated fibers was not significantly different between the nerves of galactose-fed and control rats, axonal areas and the number of NF/axon, when related to myelin spiral length, were significantly less in nerves of galactose-fed rats. Myelin alterations, characteristic of axonal atrophy, were also significantly increased. The present data provide evidence of a proportionate decrease in axonal caliber and the number of NF/axon in myelinated fibers in experimental galactose neuropathy, suggesting that galactose induces either decreased NF synthesis, assembly or transport. The possible role of microenvironmental alterations, including endoneurial hypoxia and hyperosmolarity, in the production of this axonal atrophy is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-150
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1986


  • Atrophy, axonal
  • Axonal caliber
  • Axons
  • Galactose
  • Hypoxia, endoneurial
  • Myelin spiral length
  • Neurofilaments
  • Neuropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Axonal caliber and neurofilaments are proportionately decreased in galactose neuropathy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this