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Research paper
Paranodal dissection in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy with anti-neurofascin-155 and anti-contactin-1 antibodies
  1. Haruki Koike1,
  2. Masato Kadoya2,
  3. Ken-ichi Kaida2,
  4. Shohei Ikeda1,
  5. Yuichi Kawagashira1,
  6. Masahiro Iijima1,
  7. Daisuke Kato3,
  8. Hidenori Ogata4,
  9. Ryo Yamasaki4,
  10. Noriyuki Matsukawa3,
  11. Jun-ichi Kira4,
  12. Masahisa Katsuno1,
  13. Gen Sobue1,5
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan
  2. 2Division of Neurology, Department of Internal Medicine, National Defense Medical College, Saitama, Japan
  3. 3Department of Neurology and Neuroscience, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan
  4. 4Department of Neurology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
  5. 5Research Division of Dementia and Neurodegenerative Disease, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Haruki Koike, Department of Neurology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya 466-8550 Japan; koike-haruki{at}


Objective To investigate the morphological features of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) with autoantibodies directed against paranodal junctional molecules, particularly focusing on the fine structures of the paranodes.

Methods We assessed sural nerve biopsy specimens obtained from 9 patients with CIDP with anti-neurofascin-155 antibodies and 1 patient with anti-contactin-1 antibodies. 13 patients with CIDP without these antibodies were also examined to compare pathological findings.

Results Characteristic light and electron microscopy findings in transverse sections from patients with anti-neurofascin-155 and anti-contactin-1 antibodies indicated a slight reduction in myelinated fibre density, with scattered myelin ovoids, and the absence of macrophage-mediated demyelination or onion bulbs. Teased-fibre preparations revealed that segmental demyelination tended to be found in patients with relatively higher frequencies of axonal degeneration and was tandemly found at consecutive nodes of Ranvier in a single fibre. Assessment of longitudinal sections by electron microscopy revealed that detachment of terminal myelin loops from the axolemma was frequently found at the paranode in patients with anti-neurofascin-155 and anti-contactin-1 antibody-positive CIDP compared with patients with antibody-negative CIDP. Patients with anti-neurofascin-155 antibodies showed a positive correlation between the frequencies of axo–glial detachment at the paranode and axonal degeneration, as assessed by teased-fibre preparations (p<0.05).

Conclusions Paranodal dissection without classical macrophage-mediated demyelination is the characteristic feature of patients with CIDP with autoantibodies to paranodal axo–glial junctional molecules.

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  • Correction notice Since this paper was first published online the terms anticontactin and antineurofascin now read anti-contactin and anti-neurofascin.

  • Contributors HK and GS developed the hypotheses and conceived the study. HK, SI, YK, MI, DK, NM, MK and GS compiled and analysed the clinical data. MK and KK determined anti-neurofascin-155 and anti-contactin-1 antibodies; HO, RY and JK verified the results. HK, SI, YK, MI and GS performed the pathological analysis. GS supervised the study. HK wrote the first draft and all authors critically evaluated the manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by grants from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (Research on rare and intractable diseases, H26-057) and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (25461276) of Japan.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics Committees of Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, National Defense Medical College and Kyushu University.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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