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Microfasciculation: a morphological pattern in leprosy nerve damage.

Antunes, Sérgio L G; Medeiros, Mildred F; Corte-Real, Suzana; Jardim, Márcia R; Nery, José A da Costa; Hacker, Mariana A V B; Valentim, Vânia da Costa; Amadeu, Thaís Porto; Sarno, Euzenir N.
Histopathology; 58(2): 304-11, 2011 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21323955


To study Microfasciculation, a perineurial response found in neuropathies, emphasizing its frequency, detailed morphological characteristics and biological significance in pure neural leprosy (PNL), post-treatment leprosy neuropathy (PTLN) and non-leprosy neuropathies (NLN).


Morphological characteristics of microfascicles were examined via histological staining methods, immunohistochemical expression of neural markers and transmission electronmicroscopy. The detection of microfasciculation in 18 nerve biopsy specimens [12 PNL, six PTLN but not in the NLN group, was associated strongly with perineurial damage and the presence of a multibacillary inflammatory process in the nerves, particularly in the perineurium. Immunoreactivity to anti-S100 protein, anti-neurofilament, anti-nerve growth receptor and anti-myelin basic protein immunoreactivity was found within microfascicles. Ultrastructural examination of three biopsies showed that fibroblast-perineurial cells were devoid of basement membrane despite perineurial-like NGFr immunoreactivity. Morphological evidence demonstrated that multipotent pericytes from inflammation-activated microvessels could be the origin of fibroblast-perineurial cells.


A microfasciculation pattern was found in 10% of leprosy-affected nerves. The microfascicles were composed predominantly of unmyelinated fibres and denervated Schwann cells (SCs) surrounded by fibroblast-perineurial cells. This pattern was found more frequently in leprosy nerves with acid-fast bacilli (AFB) and perineurial damage while undergoing an inflammatory process. Further experimental studies are necessary to elucidate microfascicle formation.
Selo DaSilva