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Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 Mar 2024 - 22 Mar 2024


Brain Commun




Small fibre integrity and axonal pathology in the rat model of experimental autoimmune neuritis.


Renk P, Sgodzai M, Klimas R, Blusch A, Grüter T, Motte J, Pedreiturria X, Gebel J, Gobrecht P, Fischer D, Gold R, Pitarokoili K


Experimental autoimmune neuritis is a common animal model for acute human immune-mediated polyneuropathies. Although already established in 1955, a number of pathophysiological mechanisms remain unknown. In this study, we extensively characterize experimental autoimmune neuritis progression in Lewis rats, including new insights into the integrity of small nerve fibres, neuropathic pain and macrophage activation. Acute experimental autoimmune neuritis was induced with P2 peptide and consequently investigated using the gait analysis system CatWalk XT, electrophysiological and histopathological analyses, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), dorsal root ganglia outgrowth studies, as well as the von Frey hair and Hargreaves tests. For the longitudinal setup, rats were sacrificed at Day (d) 10 (onset), d15 (peak), d26 (recovery) and d29 (late recovery). We confirmed the classical T-cell and macrophage-driven inflammation and the primarily demyelinating nature of the experimental autoimmune neuritis. The dual role of macrophages in experimental autoimmune neuritis is implicated by the high number of remaining macrophages throughout disease progression. Furthermore, different subpopulations of macrophages based on (, and expressions were identified. In addition, modulation of the sensory system in experimental autoimmune neuritis was detected. An outgrowth of small fibres in the plantar skin at the onset and peak of the experimental autoimmune neuritis was evident parallel to the development of acute hyperalgesia mediated through transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 modulation. Our data depict experimental autoimmune neuritis as a primary demyelinating disease with implicated axonal damage, a small unmyelinated fibre impairment throughout the disease progression course, and underline the pivotal role of macrophages in the effector and during the recovery stage.