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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-0533
    Keywords: Thalidomide ; Wallerian degeneration ; Schwann cell proliferation ; Immune inhibition ; Endoneurial edema
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract In addition to the well-known teratogenic effect of thalidomide, previous studies have revealed mild immunosuppressive properties and, more recently, and antiangiogenic activity. To find out more about the specificity of these effects we studied the influence of orally administered thalidomide on Wallerian degeneration in rats. Wallerian degeneration is a potent experimental model for studying reproducible cell proliferation in vivo. Examination of distal nerve segments of transected sciatic nerves from rats that had been treated with thalidomide (2×250 mg/kg per day) revealed a significant reduction of endoneurial cell counts at 10–15 days after surgery compared to that seen in controls. This effect was not statistically significant, at a very early stage of Wallerian degeneration, i.e., at 5 days after transection of the nerve. Subperineurial edema and phagocytosis was also reduced, although this was not statistically significant. This apparently nonspecific inhibitory effect of thalidomide during early Wallerian degeneration shown in the present study should be investigated further for its possible relationship to other previously established inhibitory activities of thalidomide, especially its immunosuppressive effect in man.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-0533
    Keywords: Unmyelinated axons ; Sensory neuropathy ; Thalidomide ; Aging ; Senile peripheral nerves
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary Sural nerve biopsies of four patients, aged 54–76 years, with a predominantly sensory type of neuropathy following high dosages of thalidomide were examined by light and electron microscopy. The present study includes a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of unmyelinated nerve fibers. Despite severe neuropathy, increased numbers of small unmyelinated axons per endoncurial area were noted in all patients. This numerical increase appeared to be independent of aging, since it was not seen in two senile controls, studied at the age of 83 and 88 years. The increase in the endoneurial density of unmyelinated axons, especially of small sized fibers, is likely to be related to regeneration following degeneration of unmyelinated axons although endoneurial shrinkage secondary to loss of large myelinated fibers could have caused an additional increase in the number of axons per endoneurial area. Axonal sprouting, despite degeneration of large numbers of myelinated and unmyelinated fibers, appears to be consistent with some of the characteristic clinical features of thalidomide neuropathy such as paresthesias, hyperesthesia for pain and temperature, and disturbances of autonomic functions. On the other hand, a variable number of empty Schwann cells (bands of Büngner) and pockets at the surface of many Schwann cells noted in the four patients with neuropathy were also seen in both senile controls with no signs of neuropathy. Thus, it is obvious that pockets and empty Schwann cells may be related to aging or other causes of slow axonal wasting with Schwann cell proliferation and are not necessarily associated with clinically manifest neuropathy.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 3
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Acta neuropathologica 65 (1985), S. 285-292 
    ISSN: 1432-0533
    Keywords: Thalidomide ; Neuropathy ; Conduction velocity ; Myelin sheath
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary Morphological studies of experimental thalidomide neuropathy have thus far failed to show any significant structural changes. The present investigation was performed on sural nerves of female New Zealand white rabbits showing a reduction of sensory conduction velocity after oral treatment with thalidomide (100 mg/kg b.wt. per day) for a period of 33 weeks. Rabbits of the same strain and equal sex, weight, and number served as controls. Very few nerve fibers were undergoing Wallerian degeneration in both groups, experimental animals and controls. Morphometry, however, revealed a statistically significant reduction of the mean myelin thickness of sural nerve fibers in the thalidomide group of rabbits as compared to controls. The mean myelin thickness of the largest nerve fibers was also significantly smaller than in the control group. On the other hand, axonal diameters were not significantly altered. The association between the decrease of the sensory conduction velocity, the reduction of the myelin sheath thickness, and the chronic thalidomide application is discussed.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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