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Differential Tolerance of Mammalian Myelinated and Unmyelinated Nerve Fibers to Oxygen Lack
  1. Raymond B. Fink, M.D. and
  2. Andrew M. Cairns, Ph.D.
  1. From the Department of Anesthesiology University of Washington School of Medicine Seattle, Washington


Ischemic neuropathy has a well-recognized but unexplained tendency to spare unmyelinated (C) fibers such as those that subserve pain. We investigated whether low energy requirement plays a part in this selectivity, by comparing the abilities of Aβ, Aδ, and C fibers in cervical vagus nerve of rabbit at 38°C to maintain excitability in the presence of severe hypoxia. We found that, given enough glucose, many C fibers and some Aδ fibers, but not Aβ fibers, can withstand complete anoxia for an apparently unlimited period.

  • Anoxia
  • Block
  • differential
  • Membranes
  • Metabolism
  • Myelinated fibers
  • Nerve
  • Pain
  • Unmyelinated fibers

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