Background/Aim: Peripheral nerve destruction is the hallmark of leprosy. Ocular complications form a substantial part of the clinical manifestations but histopathology of nerve destruction within ocular structures has not been shown satisfactorily. The role of protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 in identifying nerve destruction in the ciliary body and posterior ciliary nerves of lepromatous eyes is shown. Methods: Serial sections from two lepromatous eyes and two non-lepromatous eyes were stained with PGP 9.5. Histopathological comparison was done on the expression of the PGP 9.5 stain in nerves within the ciliary body, posterior ciliary nerves adjacent to the optic nerve, and nerves tracking through the sclera. Results: In non-lepromatous eyes, PGP 9.5 was expressed in nerves within the ciliary body, the nerves within the sclera, and posterior ciliary nerves adjacent to the optic nerve. In lepromatous eyes no PGP 9.5 was expressed, signifying nerve destruction. Conclusions: Nerve destruction in lepromatous eyes has been confirmed histopathologically by the absence of or patchy staining with PGP 9.5. Nerve destruction in the ciliary body can extend to the posterior ciliary nerves by an ascending axonopathy. This "dying back" phenomenon is akin to the "glove and stocking" anaesthesia found in lepromatous leprosy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience