Aug 28, 2001

Size-selective neuronal changes in the anterior optic pathways suggest a differential susceptibility to injury in multiple sclerosis

Brain : a Journal of Neurology
N EvangelouPaul M Matthews

Abstract

Axonal damage is found in both acute and chronic lesions of multiple sclerosis. Direct axon counting in post-mortem tissue has suggested that smaller axons might have a greater susceptibility to damage, but methodological limitations have precluded unequivocal interpretation. However, as neuronal and axonal sizes are linked and neuronal changes would be expected with retrograde or transsynaptic degeneration following axon injury, we hypothesized that an alternative strategy for studying this phenomenon would be to define multiple sclerosis-associated changes in neurones. To test this hypothesis, we measured both axonal loss and neuronal size changes in the anterior optic pathway [including the optic nerve (ON), optic tract (OT) and lateral geniculate nucleus] of the brains of eight patients who died with multiple sclerosis and in eight control brains. The ONs and OTs in brains from the multiple sclerosis patients showed a trend to smaller mean cross-sectional areas (ON, multiple sclerosis = 6.84 mm(2), controls = 9.25 mm(2); and OT, multiple sclerosis = 6.45 mm(2), controls = 7.94 mm(2), P = 0.08) and had reduced axonal densities (ON, multiple sclerosis = 1.1 x 10(5)/mm(2), controls = 1.7 x 10(5)/mm(2); and OT, multiple scleros...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Optic Tract Structure
Biochemical Pathway
Entire Lateral Geniculate Body
Entire Optic Nerve
Abnormal Degeneration
Dorsal Nucleus of Lateral Geniculate Body
Neurons
Brain
Nerve Degeneration
Anterior Visual Pathway

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