Aged individuals with Down syndrome (DS) develop senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles consistent with Alzheimer disease (AD). Prior to or in parallel with AD pathology, compensatory growth responses may occur. Immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy studies in the hippocampus from 15 individuals ranging in age from 5 months to 67 years compared markers of normal and abnormal tau accumulation (phosphorylated tau [AT8, MC-1], tau-1, N-terminal tau) with the extent and location of neuronal growth marker immunoreactivity (BDNF, GAP-43, MAP-2). In middle age (30-40 years), prior to entorhinal neuron loss, the earliest tau accumulation occurred in the outer molecular layer (OML), which was consistent with both pathological and compensatory fetal tau expression. These events were followed at a later age, associated with entorhinal neuron loss, by an increase in GAP-43. Hilar neurons exhibiting a sprouting morphology were also noted. Age-dependent observations in the DS brain in the current study parallel hippocampal compensatory responses described in entorhinal cortex lesion studies in rodents. Thus, compensatory growth responses may occur in DS prior to extensive AD pathology and may be one mechanism underlying observations in PET studies of hypermetabolism in the entorhinal cortex of individuals with DS.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology|
|State||Published - 1 Sep 2003|
- Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
- Fetal tau
- Growth-associated protein
- Microtubule-associated protein