The armadillo as a model for peripheral neuropathy in leprosy

Richard W. Truman, Gigi Ebenezer, Maria T. Pena, Rahul Sharma, Gayathriy Balamayooran, Thomas H. Gillingwater, David M. Scollard, Justin Charles McArthur, Anura Rambukkana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Leprosy (also known as Hansen's Disease) is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae that primarily targets the peripheral nervous system; skin, muscle, and other tissues are also affected. Other than humans, nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) are the only natural hosts of M. leprae, and they are the only laboratory animals that develop extensive neurological involvement with this bacterium. Infection in the armadillo closely recapitulates many of the structural, physiological, and functional aspects of leprosy seen in humans. Armadillos can be useful models of leprosy for basic scientific investigations into the pathogenesis of leprosy neuropathy and its associated myopathies, as well as for translational research studies in piloting new diagnostic methods or therapeutic interventions. Practical and ethical constraints often limit investigation into human neuropathies, but armadillos are an abundant source of leprotic neurologic fibers. Studies with these animals may provide new insights into the mechanisms involved in leprosy that also might benefit the understanding of other demyelinating neuropathies. Although there is only a limited supply of armadillo-specific reagents, the armadillo whole genomic sequence has been completed, and gene expression studies can be employed. Clinical procedures, such as electrophysiological nerve conduction testing, provide a functional assessment of armadillo nerves. Avariety of standard histopathological and immunopathological procedures including Epidermal Nerve Fiber Density (ENFD) analysis, Schwann Cell Density, and analysis for other conserved cellular markers can be used effectively with armadillos and will be briefly reviewed in this text.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberilt050
Pages (from-to)304-314
Number of pages11
JournalILAR Journal
Volume54
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Fingerprint

Armadillos
leprosy
Dasypodidae
peripheral nervous system diseases
Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
Leprosy
Animals
Functional assessment
Fibers
Neurology
Gene expression
Muscle
Bacteria
Skin
Cells
Mycobacterium leprae
Tissue
Testing
nerve tissue
Dasypus

Keywords

  • Armadillo
  • ENFD
  • Gene-expression
  • Leprosy
  • Myopathy
  • Neuropathy
  • Schwann cell
  • Translational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Truman, R. W., Ebenezer, G., Pena, M. T., Sharma, R., Balamayooran, G., Gillingwater, T. H., ... Rambukkana, A. (2014). The armadillo as a model for peripheral neuropathy in leprosy. ILAR Journal, 54(3), 304-314. [ilt050]. https://doi.org/10.1093/ilar/ilt050

The armadillo as a model for peripheral neuropathy in leprosy. / Truman, Richard W.; Ebenezer, Gigi; Pena, Maria T.; Sharma, Rahul; Balamayooran, Gayathriy; Gillingwater, Thomas H.; Scollard, David M.; McArthur, Justin Charles; Rambukkana, Anura.

In: ILAR Journal, Vol. 54, No. 3, ilt050, 04.2014, p. 304-314.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Truman, RW, Ebenezer, G, Pena, MT, Sharma, R, Balamayooran, G, Gillingwater, TH, Scollard, DM, McArthur, JC & Rambukkana, A 2014, 'The armadillo as a model for peripheral neuropathy in leprosy', ILAR Journal, vol. 54, no. 3, ilt050, pp. 304-314. https://doi.org/10.1093/ilar/ilt050
Truman RW, Ebenezer G, Pena MT, Sharma R, Balamayooran G, Gillingwater TH et al. The armadillo as a model for peripheral neuropathy in leprosy. ILAR Journal. 2014 Apr;54(3):304-314. ilt050. https://doi.org/10.1093/ilar/ilt050
Truman, Richard W. ; Ebenezer, Gigi ; Pena, Maria T. ; Sharma, Rahul ; Balamayooran, Gayathriy ; Gillingwater, Thomas H. ; Scollard, David M. ; McArthur, Justin Charles ; Rambukkana, Anura. / The armadillo as a model for peripheral neuropathy in leprosy. In: ILAR Journal. 2014 ; Vol. 54, No. 3. pp. 304-314.
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