Question on Alzheimer Pathology

Richard A. Lockshin lockshin at mindspring.com
Fri Aug 1 13:17:54 EST 1997

Carl Cotman and colleagues have several articles on the correlation of
apoptosis and neuronal indicators of Alzheimer's
"Stavros P. Zanos" <stavrosz at med.auth.gr> wrote:

>Dear colleagues,

>Im not sure whether this is the right list to post this kind of question,
>however I could really use any information, since my Neurology and
>Neuropathology exams are approaching. Please respond personally to my
>email address if you consider this discussion as out of the scopes of the

>Two typical histopathological findings in Alzheimer brains are:

>1. The innumerable neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) found in the limbic and
>association cortices, accompanied by NFTs in neurons of subcortical nuclei
>that project to these regions (locus ceruleus, median raphe nuclei).

>2. Neurons in the limbic and association cortices, and in the subcortical
>nuclei that project to them, often undergo perikaryal shrinkage and other
>morphological manifestations of apoptotic neuronal cell-death.

>I was wandering whether these two findings (NFTs and apoptosis) coincide
>in the same neurons, since they appear to affect the same brain regions.

>If this was the case, then NFT pathology (helical and straight
>filaments) might participate in the pathogenesis of neuronal loss, as has
>already been suggested for amyloid beta protein. If, on the other hand,
>neurons that undergo apoptosis do not pass through a stage of NFT
>formation, then it would be possible that NFTs wouldnt be a specific
>histological marker of AD, as has been suggested in some studies that
>implicated NFT formation in connection to certain kinds of neuronal injury
>(I can recall subacute sclerosing panecephalitis as an example).

>Thank you for your time.

>Stavros Zanos
>Depts. of Experimental Physiology
>Aristotle Univ. School of Medicine
>Thessaloniki, GREECE

Richard A. Lockshin
(lockshin at mindspring.com;lockshin at sjumusic.stjohns.edu)
check out Cell Death Soc web page: 

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