An ultrastructural study of the response of traumatized rabbit tibial nerve to epineurial infection with Mycobacterium leprae.Int J Lepr Other Mycobact Dis. 1986 Mar; 54(1):79-83.IJ
Crushed rabbit tibial nerves were inoculated with a suspension of living Mycobacterium leprae at and just distal to the site of nerve trauma. The resulting changes occurring over a period of time from 40 min to 72 hr post-inoculation were studied electron microscopically. Bacilli were seen in perineurial cells and in macrophages that had infiltrated the perineurium adjacent to epineurial deposits of M. leprae. It is suggested that trauma may weaken the perineurial barrier and facilitate the transperineurial passage of phagocytes, some of which may be laden with M. leprae, and may thus be a means whereby M. leprae enter the endoneurium of peripheral nerves.