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J Neurochem. 1992 May;58(5):1896-904.

Decreased density of presynaptic alpha 2-adrenoceptors in postmortem brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

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1
Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of the Basque Country, Leioa, Bizkaia, Spain.

Abstract

The full agonist [3H]bromoxidine (UK 14304) was used to quantitate alpha 2-adrenoceptors in postmortem brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. The effects of aging and human serum Cohn fraction IV on [3H]bromoxidine binding were also assessed. In patients with Alzheimer's disease, the binding capacity (Bmax) of [3H]bromoxidine was lower in the frontal cortex (37%), hypothalamus (33%), and cerebellum (52%) than in matched controls. In the hippocampus, amygdala, and head of caudate, the binding capacities (Bmax) were unchanged. Quantitative autoradiographic analyses with [3H]bromoxidine confirmed the existence of a marked reduction (55-60%) in alpha 2A-adrenoceptor density in the frontal cortex (layers I and III). In patients with dementia who did not meet neuropathological criteria for Alzheimer's disease, the density of alpha 2-adrenoceptors was unchanged. In control subjects, the density of alpha 2A-adrenoceptors in the frontal cortex showed a significant negative correlation with age at death. The inhibitory effect of human serum Cohn fraction IV on [3H]bromoxidine was very similar in control subjects and patients with Alzheimer's disease. The observed decrease in the density of brain alpha 2-adrenoceptors in Alzheimer's disease may represent direct biochemical evidence of a presynaptic location of this receptor on noradrenergic nerve terminals in the human CNS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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