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Brain Res. 2006 May 17;1089(1):33-43.

Human brain tissue microarrays as a platform to investigate diseases of the nervous system.

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Department of Neuroscience and Neurology, University of Kuopio, and Kuopio University Hospital, Finland.


We constructed tissue microarray (TMA) blocks containing post-mortem human brain tissue from subjects with clinically and neuropathologically verified Alzheimer's disease (AD), corticobasal degeneration (CBD), progressive supranuclear palsy, Lewy body disease, multisystem atrophy (MSA) as well as an age matched control. Fifteen donor blocks were merged into two TMA blocks containing 72, 2-mm punch core samples with representative brain regions generally affected in degenerative disorders. Hyperphosphorylated-gamma, alpha-synuclein and beta-amyloid-related pathologies were estimated. The diseases were easily recognized by evaluating the two TMA sections and the results assessing TMA sections were comparable with the assessment of the whole brain sections. The assessment of TMA sections revealed concomitant multifocal alpha-synuclein pathology in AD, mild tau-involvement in the case of MSA and a slight AD-type pathology in the case of CBD. These findings emphasize the importance of searching for a variety of pathologies in "the whole brain" rather than restricting the examination to a few vulnerable regions. Furthermore, the TMA methodology clearly reduced the number of sections needed for evaluating the whole brain, it increased the amount of research material generated and furthermore no detailed neuroanatomical knowledge was required for assessment of data.

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