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December 1968

Histochemical Patterns in Single Peripheral Nerve Fibers: A Rapid Method for Identifying the Schwann Cell and Axonal Cytoplasm

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md
From the Medical Neurology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md 20014. Dr. Morgan-Hughes is currently at the National Hospital, Queen Square, London.

Arch Neurol. 1968;19(6):613-617. doi:10.1001/archneur.1968.00480060083010

THE EXAMINATION of single nerve fibers in teased preparations has contributed to the study of peripheral nerve lesions both in man1-3 and in experimental animals.4-10 This technique has proved to be particularly suitable for demonstrating segmental demyelination where the early stages of myelin destruction, beginning at the nodes of Ranvier, and the late stages of remyelination, can be studied in greater detail than with any other method of preparation at the light microscope level.11 Although the techniques currently available for staining single fibers, using osmium tetroxide or one of the sudan dyes, are excellent for detecting early changes in the myelin sheath, they provide only limited and indirect information about the behavior of the Schwann cell or of the axon. In view of the importance of the Schwann cell in the formation and maintenance of the myelin and the implication that it is the primary

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