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1.  Stereologic estimates of total spinophilin-immunoreactive spine number in area 9 and the CA1 field: relationship with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease 
Neurobiology of aging  2007;29(9):1296-1307.
The loss of presynaptic markers is thought to represent a strong pathologic correlate of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Spinophilin is a postsynaptic marker mainly located to the heads of dendritic spines. We assessed total numbers of spinophilin-immunoreactive puncta in the CA1 and CA3 fields of hippocampus and area 9 in 18 elderly individuals with various degrees of cognitive decline. The decrease in spinophilin-immunoreactivity was significantly related to both Braak neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) staging and clinical severity but not Aβ deposition staging. The total number of spinophilin-immunoreactive puncta in CA1 field and area 9 were significantly related to MMSE scores and predicted 23.5% and 61.9% of its variability. The relationship between total number of spinophilin-immunoreactive puncta in CA1 field and MMSE scores did not persist when adjusting for Braak NFT staging. In contrast, the total number of spinophilin-immunoreactive puncta in area 9 was still significantly related to the cognitive outcome explaining an extra 9.6% of MMSE and 25.6% of the Clinical Dementia Rating scores variability. Our data suggest that neocortical dendritic spine loss is an independent parameter to consider in AD clinicopathologic correlations.
doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2007.03.007
PMCID: PMC2569870  PMID: 17420070
Alzheimer’s disease; cognition; synapses; tangles
2.  Hippocampal interneuron loss in an APP/PS1 double mutant mouse and in Alzheimer’s disease 
Brain structure & function  2010;214(2-3):145-160.
Hippocampal atrophy and neuron loss are commonly found in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, the underlying molecular mechanisms and the fate in the AD hippocampus of subpopulations of interneurons that express the calcium-binding proteins parvalbumin (PV) and calretinin (CR) has not yet been properly assessed. Using quantitative stereologic methods, we analyzed the regional pattern of age-related loss of PV- and CR-immunoreactive (ir) neurons in the hippocampus of mice that carry M233T/L235P knocked-in mutations in presenilin-1 (PS1) and overexpress a mutated human beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP), namely, the APPSL/PS1 KI mice, as well as in APPSL mice and PS1 KI mice. We found a loss of PV-ir neurons (40–50%) in the CA1-2, and a loss of CR-ir neurons (37–52%) in the dentate gyrus and hilus of APPSL/PS1 KI mice. Interestingly, comparable PV- and CR-ir neuron losses were observed in the dentate gyrus of postmortem brain specimens obtained from patients with AD. The loss of these interneurons in AD may have substantial functional repercussions on local inhibitory processes in the hippocampus.
doi:10.1007/s00429-010-0242-4
PMCID: PMC3038332  PMID: 20213270
Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid precursor protein; Calcium-binding proteins; Hippocampus; Presenilin-1; Stereology
3.  A novel approach to non-biased systematic random sampling: A stereologic estimate of Purkinje cells in the human cerebellum 
Brain research  2008;1236:73-78.
Non-biased systematic sampling using the principles of stereology provides accurate quantitative estimates of objects within neuroanatomic structures. However, the basic principles of stereology are not optimally suited for counting objects that selectively exist within a limited but complex and convoluted portion of the sample, such as occurs when counting cerebellar Purkinje cells. In an effort to quantify Purkinje cells in association with certain neurodegenerative disorders, we developed a new method for stereologic sampling of the cerebellar cortex, involving calculating the volume of the cerebellar tissues, identifying and isolating the Purkinje cell layer and using this information to extrapolate non-biased systematic sampling data to estimate the total number of Purkinje cells in the tissues. Using this approach, we counted Purkinje cells in the right cerebella of four human male control specimens, aged 41, 67, 70 and 84 years, and estimated the total Purkinje cell number for the four entire cerebella to be 27.03, 19.74, 20.44 and 22.03 million cells, respectively. The precision of the method is seen when comparing the density of the cells within the tissue: 266,274, 173,166, 167,603 and 183,575 cells/cm3, respectively. Prior literature documents Purkinje cell counts ranging from 14.8 to 30.5 million cells. These data demonstrate the accuracy of our approach. Our novel approach, which offers an improvement over previous methodologies, is of value for quantitative work of this nature. This approach could be applied to morphometric studies of other similarly complex tissues as well.
doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2008.07.119
PMCID: PMC2927831  PMID: 18725208
Stereology; Cerebellum; Brain; Methodology; Essential tremor

Results 1-3 (3)