Ultrastructural identification of neurofibrillary tangles in the spinal cords in Guamanian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonism-dementia complex on Guam

S. Kato, A. Hirano, J. F. Llena, H. Ito, S. H. Yen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


The immunohistochemical and ultrastructural characteristics of spinal cord neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) were examined in Guamanian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and in parkinisonism-dementia complex on Guam. The spinal cord NFTs reacted with antibodies to tau protein (tau-2), ubiqitin and paired helical filaments (PHFs). Ultrastructurally, the components of the NFTs were seen as randomly arranged fibrils which were often associated with osmiophilic granules; small bundle-like arrangements were also occasionally observed. Individual NFT fibrils appeared as straight fibrils with a diameter of approximately 15 nm and constricted fibrils with a periodicity of approximately 80 nm. Ultrastructural microscopic examination of specimens stained by the modified Bielschowsky method and with the antibodies revealed silver particles and the products of the tau, ubiquitin and PHF immunoreactions on the NFT fibrils. This is the first demonstration of the fine structure of the spinal cord NFTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-282
Number of pages6
JournalActa Neuropathologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1992
Externally publishedYes



  • Guamanian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Immunoelectron microscopy
  • Parkinsonism-dementia complex on Guam
  • Spinal cord neurofibrillary tangles
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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