A nerve is formed by a collection of nerve fascicles (bundle of nerve fibers) which are surrounded by a loose connective tissue sheath known as the epineurium. The epineurium is the outermost layer of a peripheral nerve and is the strongest of all the connective tissue layers of the nerve.
It is mainly composed of collagen fibers (types I and III), fibroblasts, fat, lymphatics, blood vessels and vasa nervorum which communicate with vessels within internal regions of the nerve.
The size and thickness of epineurium can vary from nerve to nerve, however, as a general rule the more fasiculi present within a nerve, the thicker the epineurium.
The epineurium aids in cushioning the nerve and contributes to its tensile strength. Loss of this connective tissue covering may be associated with pressure palsies.
|Definition||Outermost layer of peripheral nerve|
|Function||Cushions the nerve, contributes to tensile strength of nerve|
Take a closer look at the components of peripheral nerves in the study unit below.
Epineurium: want to learn more about it?
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