Send to

Choose Destination
Exp Neurol. 2000 Jan;161(1):245-58.

P75 neurotrophin receptor in the nucleus basalis of meynert in relation to age, sex, and Alzheimer's disease.

Author information

Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam, Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


In a previous study we showed that the staining of tyrosine kinase receptors (trks), which are high-affinity neurotrophin receptors (NTRs), is strongly diminished in the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM) of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, which may explain the lack of effect of NGF therapy in AD patients so far. Since the literature regarding the expression of low-affinity NTRs was rather controversial, the aim of the present study was to examine (i) possible changes in the staining of low-affinity NTRs, i.e., p75 in the human NBM, an area that is severely affected in AD; and (ii) alterations of these receptors in relation to risk factors for AD, e. g., age, sex, and menopause. Brain material of 31 controls and 30 AD patients was obtained at autopsy, embedded in paraffin, and stained immunocytochemically. Using an image analysis system, we quantified p75 immunoreactivity in both cell bodies and fibers at the level of the NBM. Our results showed a significant diminishment of p75 immunoreactivity in both cell bodies and fibers of NBM neurons in AD. We did not find any relationship between age or sex and the expression of p75 receptor in cell bodies. However, there was a clearly positive relationship between age and fiber staining in AD patients which suggests the occurrence of a p75 transport disorder as an early event in the process of AD. These observations and the earlier reported decreased staining of trk receptors show that degeneration of NBM neurons in AD is associated with a decreased neurotrophin responsiveness of NBM neurons in AD and that therapeutic strategies should be directed toward upregulation of receptors or facilitation of transport before an effect of neurotrophins in AD may be expected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center