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Neurosci Lett. 1998 Nov 13;256(3):151-4.

Immunohistochemical localization of nicotinic beta2 and alpha4 receptor subunits in normal human brain and individuals with Lewy body and Alzheimer's disease: preliminary observations.

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  • 1L.J. Roberts Alzheimer's Center, Sun Health Research Institute, Sun City, AZ 85351, USA.


Optimum immunohistochemical methods were established to immuno-localize nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha4 and beta2 subunits in temporal cortex and substantia nigra of normal aged and diseased human brain. In normal aged brain, fibers were immunoreactive for both the alpha4 and beta2 subunits of the nicotinic receptor in the temporal cortex and the substantia nigra. In the cortex of normal aged brain, rare neurofibrillary tangles occurring could be identified with either anti-alpha4 or anti-beta2 antibodies, but existing senile plaques were demonstrable with neither. In Alzheimer's disease temporal cortex, there were diminished numbers of nicotinic receptor subunit immunoreactive fibers, and there were appreciable numbers of neuropil threads, neurofibrillary tangles and senile plaques immunoreactive with both the alpha4 and beta2 antibodies.

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