Quantitative analysis of endoneurial T-cells in human sural nerve biopsies

J Neuroimmunol. 1990 Feb;26(2):113-8. doi: 10.1016/0165-5728(90)90082-x.


We used immunocytochemical methods on sural nerve biopsies from 42 patients with peripheral neuropathy to identify mononuclear cells, determine whether lymphocytic infiltration occurs in a variety of neuropathies, and identify the subtypes of lymphocytes. Immunostained cells were present in 76% of nerve biopsies. CD3+ cells (T lymphocytes) were greatest in density (cells/mm2). In patients whose CD4:CD8 T cell ratio was measured also in blood and cerebrospinal fluid, the CD4:CD8 T cell ratio was similar in all three compartments. These findings suggest that T lymphocytes are frequently present in nerves obtained from patients with various types of neuropathies and raise questions about factors that attract T lymphocytes into nerve that may be important in pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Cell Count
  • Eosine Yellowish-(YS)
  • Hematoxylin
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Leukocyte Count*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / pathology*
  • Spinal Nerves / pathology*
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Sural Nerve / pathology*
  • T-Lymphocytes*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory


  • Eosine Yellowish-(YS)
  • Hematoxylin