Morphometric comparison of the vulnerability of peripheral motor and sensory neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Yasuo Kawamura, Peter James Dyck, Masatake Shimono, Haruo Okazaki, Jun Tateishi, Hitoka Doi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

181 Scopus citations

Abstract

The diameter histograms of cell bodies (cytons) in motor neuron columns at the L5 segment of the spinal cord of adult man reproducibly yield three peaks of increasing height: small (Cs), intermediate (Cl), and large (Cl). Histograms of L5 myelinated axons obtained from the ventral root have two peaks of increasing height: intermediate (Al) and large (Al). In histograms prepared from seven cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the Q and Al peaks were decreased selectively and severely. This provides evidence for alpha, but not gamma, motor neuron vulnerability. The Cl peak of spinal ganglion neurons and the Al peak of dorsal roots were significantly reduced in number, without a concomitant increase in Cl Cs, and Al peaks. This, plus earlier reports of abnormal cutaneous sensation thresholds, abnormal rates of fiber degeneration in cutaneous nerves, and dorsal column demyelina-tion, provides evidence that large afferent neurons are affected in ALS, but to a lesser degree than alpha motor neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-675
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1981

Keywords

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Morphometry
  • Motor neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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