The effect of biochemical changes upon certain biophysical phenomena of nerve activity: the functional significance of the connective tissue sheath of the peripheral nerve trunk
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It has been known for a long time that the peri pheral nerves in vertebrates consist of an aggregati of nervous tissue, the nervous elements, or nerve fibres, bound together by "indifferent" connective tissue, This binding tissue resembles connective tissue found in all parts of the body, and it might be supposed by analogy that its sole function is to support and hold together the nerve fibres, and that its presence in no way affects the behaviour of these fibres, so that for all intents and purposes it can be ignored altogether in all studies of peripheral nerve physiology.The principal aim of the present work is to examine the possibility that this "indifferent" connective tissue of the peripheral nerves (the lamellated sheath, in particular,) plays a significant part 'in many physiological experiments because it is a barrier which prevents the diffusion of substances into or out of the nerve trunk.It is hoped to show later that almost from the beginnings of electrophysiology many physiologists have been acutely aware of the nerve sheath and have realised that it might modify the apparent properties of nerves. However, in recent years, in the course of publishing the results of an extensive series of experiments performed with frog nerves, Lorente de No has found it necessary to state categorically that the nerve sheath cannot be a diffusion barrier and cannot affect the apparent electrical. properties of the nerve.