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Acta Neuropathol. 1984;63(4):313-8.

Changes in the compact myelin of single internodes during axonal atrophy.


Distal axonal atrophy was produced by proximal constriction of the tibial nerve in the rabbit. Transverse sections were studied by light and electron microscopy at 10 micron intervals along individual internodes of both atrophic and normal tibial nerve fibres. During axonal atrophy there were marked changes in axonal configuration at different levels within the territory of a single Schwann cell. These resulted in changes in the lengths of the axon perimeter and myelin spiral, without causing any alteration in the numbers of myelin lamellae or their spacing. Comparable changes in axon perimeter and myelin spiral length were seen in transverse sections through the paranodal and nuclear regions of normal fibres. These results show that local variations in axonal calibre or shape are associated with appropriate adjustments to the length of the myelin spiral, without a change in the number of lamellae, and thus of sheath thickness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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