Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical Sciences


Electron microscopy has settled prior controversies regarding the relationship of axon, myelin and Schwann cell bat doubt remains about the correct interpretation of the classic binding sheaths. Perineurium is customarily interpreted to be flattened fibroblasts but recent evidence suggests attenuated Schwann cells. This study attempts to reinterpret the morphology of peripheral nerve known to be fixed adequately for fine structure. Special emphasis is plaoed on the binding sheaths, especially perineurium.

Forty white rats were perfused with buffered aldehydes. Sural and sciatic nerves were removed. Smaller nerves were obtained with orbital contents and the loose oonneotive tissue of spleen and pancreas. These were prepared for light microscopy with the least possible change of routine techniques. Selective chromatic stains were modified to demon, strate nerve morphology.

In this study perineurium is distinguished from epineurium and endoneurlum because its boundary membranes stain with the periodic acid. Schiff (PAS) method and counterstains. Additional stains also show perineurium as a distinct morphological layer that is complete and organised. Blood vessels are surrounded by perineurium in their longitudinal course within this sheath. All nerve branches acquire a perineural covering from a parent nerve by a process of gradual partitioning.

Perineurium is demonstrable as a specialised layer. It resembles Schwann cells by reason of its boundary membranes and "wrap-around" ten. dencies. This suggests nearectodermal rather than mesodermal origin. Tissue space with its contained connective tissues exists both inside and outside of perineurium.