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J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1999 Dec;58(12):1263-8.

Alpha-synuclein immunoreactivity is present in axonal swellings in neuroaxonal dystrophy and acute traumatic brain injury.

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Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, Boston 02129, USA.


The primary neuroaxonal dystrophies (NAD), which include infantile NAD and Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome (HSS), are characterized by dystrophic terminal axons and axonal swellings. Lewy bodies have been found in some cases. In Parkinson disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Lewy bodies and neurites display prominent alpha-synuclein immunoreactivity. We examined 2 cases of HSS and 4 cases of infantile NAD with alpha-synuclein immunohistochemistry to test the hypothesis that these disorders with similar morphological findings might share a biochemical phenotype. Furthermore, we compared them to 8 cases of secondary or physiologic NAD of various causes and 2 cases of recent traumatic head injury. Alpha-synuclein positive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions, including Lewy bodies, and neurites were numerous in 1 HSS and 1 infantile NAD case. In addition, axonal spheroids were immunostained in all 6 cases of primary NAD, 5 cases of secondary NAD, and 2 cases of recent head injury. Axonal spheroids were faintly stained in the 3 physiologic NAD cases. Alpha-synuclein positive axonal swellings may suggest a mechanism, such as axonal injury, leading to the neuronal cytoplasmic accumulation of alpha-synuclein in NAD and other disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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