Advertisement

Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 30, Issue 8, pp 619–626 | Cite as

Microanatomical structure of the human sciatic nerve

  • Ugrenovic Z. SladjanaEmail author
  • Jovanovic D. Ivan
  • Stefanović D. Bratislav
Original Article

Abstract

Background

Sciatic nerve is the largest peripheral nerve of the human body. It gives motor and sensitive innervation for the most of lower limb. The aim of the present investigation was revealing his fascicular pattern in relation to microanatomic morphometric characteristics of its connective tissue sheaths.

Methods

The material consisted of sciatic nerve slices, excised from 17 cadavers of humans aging 8–93 years. After routine histologic processing and light microscopic examination of the preparations, morphometric analysis was performed at magnifications of 40 and 630×.

Results

Sciatic nerve showed to be polyfascicular nerve type, with the group pattern of nerve fascicless distribution. The number of fascicless ranged from 27 to 70, whereas the number of fascicless per square millimeter was 1–4. Morphometric and correlation analysis confirmed the significant increase of whole sciatic nerve cross section area, which was associated with the significant increase of its epi- and perineural connective tissue sheaths. Interfascicular sciatic nerve domains of elderly persons contained more adipose tissue. Moreover, already detected loss and degeneration of the large myelinated nerve fibers within fascicles was accompanied by the significant increase of endoneural connective tissue.

Conclusions

In conclusion, our study revealed comparative connective tissue enlargement of human sciatic nerve in the course of aging. These phenomena might influence on result of injured nerve’s surgical reparations. We interpret this finding as non-specific compensatory phenomenon elicited by loss of thickest myelinated nerve fibers, higher vulnerability of remaining ones, and age-dependent decrease of connective tissue elasticity.

Keywords

Sciatic nerve Fascicular pattern Connective tissue sheaths Morphometry Aging 

References

  1. 1.
    Asbury AK, Johnson PC (1978) Pathology of peripheral nerve. WB Saunders, London, pp 5–55Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Azcoitia I, Leonem E, Magnaghi V et al (2003) Progesterone and its derivates dihydroprogesterone and tetrahydroprogesterone reduce myelin fiber morphological abnormalities and myelin fiber loss in the sciatic nerve of aged rats. Neurobiol Aging 24:853–860PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Barkmeier JM, Luschei ES (2000) Quantitative analysis of the anatomy of the epineurium of the canine recurrent laryngeal nerve. J Anat 196:85–101PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bendszuc M, Wessing C, Solymosi L et al (2004) MRI of peripheral nerve degeneration and regeneration: correlations with electrophysiology and histology. Exp Neurol 88:171–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ceballos D, Cuadras J, Verdú E et al (1999) Morphometric and ultrastructural changes with ageing in mouse peripheral nerve. J Anat 195:563–576PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dawson B, Trapp RG (2004) Basic and Clinical Biostatistics, 4th edn. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Drury RAB, Wallington EA (1980) Carleton’s histological technique, 5th edn. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 143–144Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dubowitz V, Brooke MH (1973) Muscle biopsy: a modern approach. WB Saunders Company, London, pp 27–28Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dyck PJ, Thomas PK, Lambert EH et al (1984) Peripheral neuropathy, 2nd edn. WB Saunders Company, London, pp 39–121Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Graif M, Seton A, Nerubai J et al (1991) Sciatic nerve: sonographic evaluation and anatomic-pathologic considerations. Radiology 181:405–408PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ikeda K, Haughtoun VM, Ho KC et al (1996) Correlative MR-anatomic study of median nerve. AJR Am J Roentgenol 167:1233–1236PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jacobs JM, Love S (1985) Qualitative and quantitative morphology of human sural nerve at different ages. Brain 108:897–924PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Johansson CS, Stenström M, Hildebrand C (1996) Target influence on aging of myelinated sensory nerve fibers. Neurob Aging 17:61–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kališnik M (1985) Temelji stereologije. Stereološka sekcija Zveze društev anatomov Jugoslavije, LjubljanaGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Korompilias AV, Payatakes AH, Beris AE et al (2006) Sciatic and peroneal nerve injuries. Microsurgery 26:288–294PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lowry A, Wilcox D, Masson EA et al (1997) Immunohistochemical methods for semiquantitative analysis of collagen content in human peripheral nerve. J Anat 91:367–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Maravilla KR, Bowen BC (1998) Imaging of the peripheral nervous system: evaluation of peripheral neuropathy and plexopathy. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 19:1011–1023PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Melcangi RC, Magnaghi V, Martini L (2000) Aging in peripheral nerves: regulation of myelin protein genes by steroid hormones. Prog Neurobiol 60:291–308PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Phillips J, Smit X, De Zoysa N et al (2004) Peripheral nerves in the rat exhibit localized heterogeneity of tensile properties during limb movement. J Physiol 557(3):879–887PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Rempel D, Dahlin L, Lundborg G (1999) Pathophysiology of nerve compression syndromes: response of peripheral nerves to loading. J Bone Joint Surg 81:1600–1610PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Schröder JM (1972) Altered ratio between axon diameter and myelin sheath thickness in regenerated nerve fibers. Brain Res 45:49–65PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Sunderland S (1964) Nerves and nerve injuires, 2nd edn. Churchill-Livingstone, New York, pp 35–49Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Tillett RL, Afoke A, Hall SM et al (2004) Investigating mechanical behaviour at a core-sheath interface in peripheral nerve. J Peripher Nerv Syst 9:255–262PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Tohgi H, Tsukagaoshi H, Toyokura M (1977) Quantitative changes with age in normal sural nerves. Acta Neuropathol 38:213–220PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Topp KS, Boyd BS (2006) Structure and biomechanics of peripheral nerves: nerve responses to physical therapist practice. Phys Ther 86:92–109PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Vivo J, Morales JL, Diz A et al (2004) Intracranial portion of the trochlear nerve and dorsal oblique muscle composition in dog: a structural and ultrastructural study. J Morphol 262:708–713PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Verdú E, Ceballos D, Vilches J et al (2000) Influence of aging on peripheral nerve function and regeneration. J Peripher Nerv Syst 5:191–208PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Verheijen MHG, Chrast R, Burrola P et al (2003) Local regulation of fat metabolism in peripheral nerves. Genes Dev 17:2450–2464PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Weller RO, Cervós-Navarro J (1977) Pathology of peripheral nerves. Butterworths, London, pp 5–67Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Williams PL, Warwick R, Dyson M, Bannister LH (1995) Gray’s anatomy. Churchill Livingstone, New York, pp 946–957Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ugrenovic Z. Sladjana
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jovanovic D. Ivan
    • 1
  • Stefanović D. Bratislav
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of MedicineInstitute of AnatomyNišSerbia
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineInstitute of HistologyBelgradeSerbia

Personalised recommendations