HLA-DR-expressing cells and T-lymphocytes in sural nerve biopsies

Muscle Nerve. 1988 Aug;11(8):864-70. doi: 10.1002/mus.880110811.


Thirty-five sural nerve biopsies were stained immunohistochemically for HLA-DR antigen. HLA-DR was expressed on nonmyelinating Schwann cells, macrophages, vascular endothelium, and perineurium. By means of double immunofluorescence staining the identity of the HLA-DR presenting structures was confirmed. HLA-DR expression was found in all biopsies and thus was not restricted to any particular type of neuropathy. The HLA-DR expression appeared to correlate with severity and activity of the neuropathy. HLA-DR-expressing macrophages wrapping myelinated fibers were prominent in primary demyelinating neuropathies. T-cells were found in 6 out of 15 nerves examined. Their presence correlated with moderate to strong HLA-DR expression of nonmyelinating Schwann cells, and they occurred during active disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Female
  • HLA-DR Antigens / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Schwann Cells / pathology
  • Spinal Nerves / pathology*
  • Sural Nerve / pathology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology*


  • HLA-DR Antigens