Quantitation of epidermal nerves in diabetic neuropathy

William R Kennedy, Gwen Wendelschafer-Crabb, Timothy Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

357 Scopus citations


We describe methods to quantify epidermal nerve fibers (ENFs) in skin biopsy specimens from diabetic candidates for pancreas transplantation and control subjects. ENFs and the dermal-epidermal basement membrane were stained by immunohistochemical methods, imaged with a confocal microscope, and quantified using a neuron tracing system. The number of ENFs per surface of epidermis was diminished in diabetic subjects. ENF number and summed length of all ENFs per volume of epidermis examined were also decreased. Length and number of branch points of single surviving ENFs were similar in skin of control and diabetic subjects. The methods and results constitute a basis for continued study of the effects of the euglycemia that attends successful pancreas transplantation and the effects of therapy in patients with various types of polyneuropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1042-1048
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1996


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