Phenotypic and proliferative properties of Schwann cells from nerves of diabetic patients

E. Scarpini, R. Doronzo, P. Baron, M. Moggio, A. Basellini, G. Scarlato

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The phenotypic (morphologic and antigenic) properties and mitotic index of cultured Schwann cells obtained by dissecting nerves from six diabetic patients were studied. These features were compared with those of Schwann cells cultured in vitro from six normal control nerves. Preservation of the specific antigenic properties of cells, identified with rabbit antiserum as bovine protein S-1OO was documented by immunofluorescence with monoclonal antibodies against laminin, fibronectin, histocompatibility antigens HLA-A, B, C and -DR, 1NK-l antigen and the human receptor for nerve growth factor. The cell proliferation index was assessed by incorporation of bromodeoxyuridine. The results of the study showed that the mitotic capacities of Schwann cells from diabetic nerves cultured in vitro remained comparable with those of normal control cells. As regards phenotypic characteristics, no modifications were detectable by immunofluorescence. These findings suggest that the phenomena of demyelination and remyelination, sometimes with onion bulb features, which can be observed in some cases of diabetic neuropathy, are not due to a primary dysfunction of the Schwann cells but are secondary to axonal degeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-215
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Research
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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