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Myelin Sheath Development in the Maxillary Nerve of the Newborn Pig

Papageorgiou, K. V., Grivas, I., Chiotelli, M., Panteris, E., Papaioannou, N., Nauwynck, H., Kritas, S. K.
Anatomia, histologia, embryologia 2017 v.46 no.1 pp. 58-64
Suid herpesvirus 1, axons, electron microscopy, fluorescent antibody technique, histology, laboratory animals, myelin sheath, myelination, neonates, nerve tissue, piglets, quantitative analysis, staining, toluidine blue, viruses
Myelination, the ensheathing of neuronal axons by myelin, is important for the proper function of both central and peripheral nervous systems. Various studies have investigated the quantitative parameters of myelination in certain species. Pigs are among the species of which their use as laboratory animals in neuroscience research increased the past few decades. However, there is limited data regarding the myelination process in the pig. Moreover, the maxillary nerve is crucial for Pseudorabies Virus (PrV) neuropathogenesis. In this context, a quantitative analysis of various myelination parameters of the maxillary nerve was performed, during the first 5 weeks of porcine post‐natal development, the time period, which exhibits the highest interest for PrV neuropathogenesis. The evaluation was conducted in four groups of uninfected pigs, at the time of birth (group 0w), at the age of 1 week (group 1w), 3 weeks (group 3w) and 5 weeks (group 5w), using toluidine blue staining, immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. Axon and fibre diameter, perimeter and surface, myelin sheath thickness and g‐ratio were measured on histological sections transverse to the longitudinal axis of the maxillary nerve. The thickness of myelin sheath was 0.76 μm for group 0w, 0.94 μm for group 1w, 0.98 μm for group 3w and 1.03 μm for group 5w. The g‐ratio was 0.529, 0.540, 0.542 and 0.531 for the respective animal groups. The results of this study contribute to the understanding of the myelination process in the pig will be used for the study of PrV effects on the myelination development of newborn piglets' maxillary nerve and may shed new light to their vulnerability to the virus.