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The pattern of collagenisation in peripheral nerve in diabetic polyneuropathy was examined in nerve biopsy specimens from patients with diabetic polyneuropathy in comparison with organ donor control nerves and disease controls (other neuropathies). There was increased endoneurial collagenisation both in the diabetic polyneuropathy cases and the disease controls, this predominantly involving types I and III. Type II collagen was not detected in organ donor control nerves or in the diabetic and the disease control nerves. There was a relative increase in type VI collagen in the endoneurium in the diabetic nerves immediately surrounding groups of Schwann cells. This was not a feature in the other neuropathies. The quantity of types IV, V and VI collagen was increased around the endoneurial microvessels in the diabetic patients and, to a lesser extent, in those with hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy (HMSN). Increased deposition of types IV and V collagen was observed in the perineurium in the diabetic nerves, the latter being most evident in the innermost lamellae where the amount of laminin was possibly also increased. The diameter of the general endoneurial collagen fibrils was greater in the diabetic nerves, although this was not more than in a disease control (HMSN). The collagen fibrils that were present within the basal laminal tubes that had surrounded degenerated myelinated fibres in the diabetic nerves, and those within the onion bulbs of the HMSN cases, were of the normal endoneurial calibre. The expression of laminin by Bungner bands in diabetic neuropathy did not differ from that in disease control nerves, nor were any differences detected for fibronectin. Whether the changes observed are important for the impaired regenerative capacity in diabetic neuropathy requires further investigation.
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Document Type: Abstract

Affiliations: Acta Neuropathologica 99: 539–546, 2000. Reprinted with permission from Springer Verlag.

Publication date: December 1, 2000

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