Tubule and neurofilament immunoreactivity in human hairy skin: markers for intraepidermal nerve fibers.
ABSTRACT The cytoplasmic protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5) is considered a reliable marker for intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENFs). However, PGP 9.5 expression has never been compared with antibodies against the main components of the cytoskeleton. We compared the density of PGP 9.5-positive IENF at the leg with that obtained using a panel of antibodies specific for certain cytoskeletal components, namely, anti-unique beta-tubulin (TuJ1), anti-nonphosphorylated microtubule-associated protein-1B (MAP1B), anti-70 and 200 KDa neurofilament (NF), and antiphosphorylated neurofilament (SMI 312), in 15 healthy subjects and in 10 patients with painful neuropathy. We also performed colocalization studies and investigated the relationship between IENFs and Schwann cells. In both controls and neuropathies, the density of IENF labeled by PGP 9.5, TuJ1, and MAP1B did not differ, whereas that of NF and SMI 312 was significantly lower. Double-staining studies confirmed that antibodies against cytoskeletal markers can be used to reliably stain skin nerve fibers, suggesting that they might provide insight into specific axonal impairment in peripheral neuropathies.
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ABSTRACT: Degeneration of intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENF) is a hallmark of small fiber neuropathy of different etiology, whose clinical picture is dominated by neuropathic pain. It is unknown if critical illness can affect IENF. We enrolled 14 adult neurocritical care patients with prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) stay and artificial ventilation (≥ 3 days), and no previous history or risk factors for neuromuscular disease. All patients underwent neurological examination including evaluation of consciousness, sensory functions, muscle strength, nerve conduction study and needle electromyography, autonomic dysfunction using the finger wrinkling test, and skin biopsy for quantification of IENF and sweat gland innervation density during ICU stay and at follow-up visit. Development of infection, sepsis and multiple organ failure was recorded throughout the ICU stay. Of the 14 patients recruited, 13 (93%) had infections, sepsis or multiple organ failure. All had severe and non-length dependent loss of IENF. Sweat gland innervation was reduced in all except one patient. Of the 7 patients available for follow-up visit, three complained of diffuse sensory loss and burning pain, and another three showed clinical dysautonomia. Small fiber pathology can develop in the acute phase of critical illness and may explain chronic sensory impairment and pain in neurocritical care survivors. Its impact on long term disability warrants further studies involving also non-neurologic critical care patients.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(9):e75696. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Loss of sensation and increased sensory phenomena are major expressions of varieties of diabetic polyneuropathies needing improved assessments for clinical and research purposes. We provide a neurobiological explanation for the apparent paradox between decreased sensation and increased sensory phenomena. Strongly endorsed is the use of the 10-g monofilaments for screening of feet to detect sensation loss, with the goal of improving diabetic management and prevention of foot ulcers and neurogenic arthropathy. We describe improved methods to assess for the kind, severity, and distribution of both large- and small-fiber sensory loss and which approaches and techniques may be useful for conducting therapeutic trials. The abnormality of attributes of nerve conduction may be used to validate the dysfunction of large sensory fibers. The abnormality of epidermal nerve fibers/1 mm may be used as a surrogate measure of small-fiber sensory loss but appear not to correlate closely with severity of pain. Increased sensory phenomena are recognized by the characteristic words patients use to describe them and by the severity and persistence of these symptoms. Tests of tactile and thermal hyperalgesia are additional markers of neural hyperactivity that are useful for diagnosis and disease management.Diabetes 11/2013; 62(11):3677-86. · 7.90 Impact Factor
Article: Letter to the editor.Pain 03/2014; · 5.64 Impact Factor