Morphometry, nerve conduction, and choline acetyltransferase transport: New finding of endoneurial edema associated with segmental demyelination

Akio Ohnishi, Kathleen Schilling, William S. Brimijoin, Edward H. Lambert, Virgil F. Fairbanks, Peter James Dyck

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59 Scopus citations


Morphometric and pathologic studies along the length of the peripheral nervous system were obtained in groups of rats fed 4% lead carbonate for 3 and 6 months and in match-fed controls. The number and diameter histograms of L6 cytons of spinal ganglia and of myelinated fibers of proximal and distal portions of peroneal and sural nerve were not significantly different from the control groups. On the other hand, segmental demyelination occurred approximately as frequently in proximal as in distal parts of nerves. At 3 months approximately 1/aof teased myelinated fibers showed changes of segmental demyelination (Condition C), or of remyelination after segmental demyelination (Condition F) or of both segmental demyelination and of remyelination (Condition D), while at 6 months more than4/sths of fibers showed these changes. As expected, regression lines of axonal area on number of lamellae of myelin, were less steep in nerves of rats fed on lead for 6 months as compared to controls. Axonal transport of choline acetyltransferase in lead neuropathy did not differ from that in control rats. As expected from the studies of others, conduction velocity of myelinated fibers of caudal nerve were low. A new finding was the often quite striking increase of transverse fascicular area of peripheral nerves. This was due to edema which appeared to develop at about the time of onset of segmental demyelination. Although the edema may be an epiphenomenon, it could be an important observation bearing on the development of lead neuropathy. It would be important to know next whether or not the blood nerve barrier is altered in lead neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-518
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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