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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2007 Mar 15;459(2):241-8. Epub 2007 Jan 16.

Biomolecular investigation of human substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease by synchrotron radiation Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy.

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Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland.


Synchrotron radiation based-Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy was used for preliminary investigation of the chemical composition and morphologies of the human substantia nigra of brain between normal and Parkinson's diseased tissues. The studies were carried out for thin tissue sections, focusing more particularly on nerve cell bodies, that are affected in Parkinson's disease (PD). The major spectral differences between normal (control) and PD tissues were identified at the following vibrational frequencies: 2930, 2850, 1655, 1380, 1236, 1173 and 1086 cm(-1). The infrared imaging of these biochemical markers show that for control cases the protein and nucleic acids functional groups (bands at: approximately 3300, approximately 3100, approximately 1655, approximately 1545, approximately 1240, approximately 1080 cm(-1)) are located mainly in the cell body. The spatial distribution of the band at 1740 cm(-1) (ester carbonyl stretching band) is quite dissimilar to the others, while it exhibits a minimal concentration in the cell body area. Contrarily, in PD samples, no clear evidence of variation of any of the vibrational fingerprint between cell body and the surrounding was noticed. Moreover, decrease of protein to lipid ratio as well as increase of amide I/amide II ratio were observed for PD case. The preliminary results strengthen the hypothesis that PD is a multietiological disorder. Moreover, the reported results clearly indicate that, in addition to a distinct visual observation, the diseased nerve cells exhibits change of their biochemical composition. It suggests that disturbances of normal functioning of SN neurons appear before their morphological atrophy.

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