Acute ischemia causes axonal stasis, swelling, attenuation, and secondary demyelination

H. Nukada, Peter J Dyck

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Abstract

Microsphere embolization of rat sciatic nerve capillaries results in a central fascicular ischemic core. Twenty-four hours after microembolization, the pathological alterations along the length of 55 myelinated fibers were reconstructed by computer imaging of 2,000 serial semi-thin epoxy sections of a tissue block that extended from just above and into an ischemic core. From proximal to distal, the typical sequence of pathological alterations was: normal → swollen dark axons + thin myelin or demyelination → attenuated axons → axon cytolysis (46 fibers) or normal axons (9 fibers). Because organelle accumulation and axonal swelling were the earliest and most proximal pathological lesions, we infer that regional hypoxia causes axonal stasis as a primary event. Demyelination was found in fibers showing swollen dark and attenuated axons. These findings suggest that axons are selectively vulnerable to acute ischemia and that, depending on severity, the fibers either undergo axonal degeneration or transitory structural alterations without axonal degeneration, the latter consisting of axonal changes and secondary demyelination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Volume22
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987

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Demyelinating Diseases
Axons
Ischemia
Sciatic Nerve
Myelin Sheath
Microspheres
Organelles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Acute ischemia causes axonal stasis, swelling, attenuation, and secondary demyelination. / Nukada, H.; Dyck, Peter J.

In: Annals of Neurology, Vol. 22, No. 3, 1987, p. 311-318.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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