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Ultrastruct Pathol. 1991 Jul-Oct;15(4-5):335-51.

The enigmatic perineurial cell and its participation in tumors and in tumorlike entities.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021.


The perineurial cells that make up the perineurium of peripheral nerve fascicles are characterized by distinct ultrastructural features, including non-branching thin cytoplasmic processes coated by an external lamina and joined at their ends by a tight junction, few organelles, actin and vimentin filaments, and numerous pinocytotic vesicles. Perineurial cells are immunoreactive for vimentin and epithelial membrane antigen (EMA) but not for the Schwann cell markers S-100 protein and Leu-7. The cytogenesis of the perineurium remains disputable, with morphologic, immunohistochemical, and experimental evidence supporting origin from the fibroblast, Schwann cell, and arachnoid cap cell. Ultrastructural studies more recently supported by immunolocalization of EMA have detected hyperplastic and neoplastic perineuriallike cells in a number of pseudoneoplastic lesions and true neoplasms, notably localized hypertrophic neuropathy, neurofibromas of various types, and perineurioma.

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