Effect of hypothyroidism on rat peripheral nervous system

Angelo Quattrini, Raffaello Nemni, Paolo Marchettini, Raffaella Fazio, Sandro Lannaccone, Massimo Corbo, Nicola Canal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The function and structure of the peripheral nervous system of Sprague-Dawley rats, 3 months after the induction of hypothyroidism by administration of iV-propyl-thiouracil in drinking water, has been studied. The motor action potential amplitude of the caudal nerve showed a significant reduction (p <0.001) when compared with an age-matched control group of animals. Computer-assisted morphometric analysis of sciatic nerves of hypothyroid rats showed normal distribution and density of myelinated fibers, and a normal axon/myelin ratio. Electron microscopy revealed only minor alterations in axons of myelinated fibers characterized by a dissolution of neurotubules. After two months of substitution therapy these effects were reversed. The present data suggest that early impairment of nerves induced by hypothyroidism is rare and could be related to metabolic alterations rather than to structural changes and is reversible with hormone treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-502
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Axonal dysfunction
  • Peripheral nerve
  • Thyroid hormone deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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