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Neurochem Int. 2001 Nov-Dec;39(5-6):469-79.

Pathological glial tau accumulations in neurodegenerative disease: review and case report.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Northwestern University Medical School, 303 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


Abnormal deposits of tau protein accumulate in glia in many neurodegenerative diseases. This suggests that in some instances the disease process may target glial tau, with neuronal degeneration a secondary consequence of this process. In this report, we summarize the pattern of glial tau pathology in various neurodegenerative disorders and add original findings from a case of sporadic frontotemporal dementia that exhibits astrocytic tau pathology. The neurodegenerative diseases span the spectrum of relative neuronal and glial tau involvement, from disorders affecting only neuronal tau to those in which abnormal tau deposits are found only in glia. From this, we conclude that glial tau can be a primary target of the disease process, and that this can lead to neuronal degeneration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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