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Muscle Nerve. 1995 Mar;18(3):301-8.

Primary sensory neurons in X-linked recessive bulbospinal neuropathy: histopathology and androgen receptor gene expression.

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Fourth Department of Internal Medicine, Aichi Medical University, Nagakute, Japan.


Pathology of the primary sensory neurons was examined in 7 autopsied patients and 6 biopsied sural nerves from the patients with X-linked recessive bulbospinal neuronopathy (SBMA). Large myelinated fibers in the central rami (L-4 posterior root, L-4, T-7, and C-6 segment of the fasciculus gracilis), and in the peripheral rami (sural nerve) were diminished in a distally accentuated manner, while small myelinated and unmyelinate fibers were well preserved in number. Demylinating process and axonal atrophy was ubiquitous. The diameter frequency histograms of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons showed a decrease in the number of large diameter neurons and an increase in the number of small diameter neurons without substantial loss of whole number of neurons, which suggested that neuronal size was atrophied. These data suggested central and peripheral distal axonopathy with neuronal atrophy was the process of sensory neuron involvement. Expression of mutant androgen receptor mRNA with elongated CAG repeat in the DRG and sural nerve supported the view that sensory nerve involvement is the primary process in SBMA.

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