Massive accumulation of modified tau and severe depletion of normal tau characterize the cerebral cortex and white matter of Alzheimer's disease: Demonstration using the hydrated autoclaving method

R. W. Shin, T. Iwaki, Tetsuyuki Kitamoto, Y. Sato, J. Tateishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using the hydrated autoclaving method, a new immunohistochemical procedure to enhance tau immunoreactivity in formalin-fixed brain tissue, the authors recently reported that tau protein is detected in neuronal cell bodies and proximal dendrites, gray matter neuropil, axons, and glial cells in normal human hippocampus and neocortex. In the this study, the authors performed a comparative study of the distribution of normal and modified forms of tau in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and control brains. In the cerebral cortex and white matter of AD brains, a massive accumulation of modified tau and/or severe depletion of normal tau were documented in all the tau compartments. In mild AD cases, gray matter neuropil, axons, and glial cells were less severely involved than neuronal perikarya. In the controls, neuronal perikarya were often involved by modified tau accumulation, but the other compartments showed normal distribution. These observations suggest that modifications of tau which lead to neurofibrillary lesions in AD may begin in neuronal perikarya and extend to the other tau compartments in advanced stages of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-945
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Volume140
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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