Polyglucosan body axonal enlargement increases myelin spiral length but not lamellar number

Hiroo Yoshikawa, Peter James Dyck, Joseph F. Poduslo, Caterina Giannini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The area of the unrolled myelin sheet of internodes of myelinated fibers (MF) of peripheral nerve is thought to be determined by axonal caliber and internodal length. We studied the effect of a focal increase of axonal caliber due to the deposition of polyglucosan bodies (PGB), amylopectin-like glucose polymers, on number of myelin lamellae (NL), interlamellar distance (periodicity), and myelin spiral length (MSL) from a sural nerve biopsy specimen of a patient with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. Axonal area, NL, periodicity, and MSL were estimated within internodes of MF above, at, and below PGB. The axon caliber at the level of the PGB was significantly (P < 0.002) increased when the PGB was included. At the PGB, NL and their periodicity were not significantly different from those above or below the PGB. The MSL was significantly longer overlying the PGB than it was in the same internode above or below the PGB. Because slippage or stretching of the myelin sheath as well as movement of molecular constituents of myelin is not likely over large distances, localized biosynthesis and assembly of new myelin may explain this increase of MSL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-117
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the neurological sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1990


  • Axon-Schwann cell interaction
  • Focal axonal enlargement
  • Local myelin biosynthesis and assembly
  • Myelin sheath geometry
  • Polyglucosan bodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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