Hippocampal degeneration differentiates Diffuse Lewy Body Disease (DLBD) from Alzheimer's disease: Light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry of CA2-3 neurites specific to DLBD

Dennis W Dickson, D. Ruan, H. Crystal, M. H. Mark, P. Davies, Y. Kress, S. H. Yen

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Immunocytochemistry with antibodies to ubiquitin is currently the most sensitive method for detecting cortical Lewy bodies, which are a sine qua non for the diagnosis of diffuse Lewy body disease (DLBD), an increasingly recognized form of primary degenerative dementia. In the systematic application of ubiquitin immunocytochemistry to sections of hippocampus from control subjects and patients with a wide spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases, we noted the frequent occurrence of ubiquitin-immunoreactive neurites in the CA2-3 region in DLBD. The nature of these neurites was investigated with immunocytochemistry in DLBD, Alzheimer's disease (AD), normal elderly subjects, and Parkinson's disease (PD). Although the number of neurites varied from case to case, they were virtually always detected in DLBD but not in normal, AD, or PD brains. Double immunolabeling studies with anti-ubiquitin demonstrated a small fraction of double-stained neurites with antibodies to neurofilament or Alz-50, but no double staining with an antibody to Alzheimer neurofibrillary tangles. These results are different from those for neurites in AD, which are rarely seen in CA2-3 and which are immunoreactive with all these antibodies. Neuritic degeneration in the CA2-3 region of the hippocampus appears to be a specific histopathologic feature of DLBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1402-1409
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1991
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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