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Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2012 Feb;38(1):25-38. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2990.2011.01188.x.

A quantitative study of the neuropathology of 32 sporadic and familial cases of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 proteinopathy (FTLD-TDP).

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  • 1Vision Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.



To further characterize the neuropathology of the heterogeneous molecular disorder frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with transactive response (TAR) DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) proteinopathy (FTLD-TDP).


We quantified the neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions, glial inclusions, neuronal intranuclear inclusions, dystrophic neurites, surviving neurones, abnormally enlarged neurones, and vacuoles in regions of the frontal and temporal lobe using a phosphorylation-independent TDP-43 antibody in 32 cases of FTLD-TDP comprising sporadic and familial cases, with associated pathology such as hippocampal sclerosis (HS) or Alzheimer's disease (AD), and four neuropathological subtypes using TDP-43 immunohistochemistry. Analysis of variance (anova) was used to compare differences between the various groups of cases.


These data from FTLD-TDP cases demonstrate quantitative differences in pathological features between: (i) regions of the frontal and temporal lobe; (ii) upper and lower cortex; (iii) sporadic and progranulin (GRN) mutation cases; (iv) cases with and without AD or HS; and (v) between assigned subtypes.


The data confirm that the dentate gyrus is a major site of neuropathology in FTLD-TDP and that most laminae of the cerebral cortex are affected. GRN mutation cases are quantitatively different from sporadic cases, while cases with associated HS and AD have increased densities of dystrophic neurites and abnormally enlarged neurones respectively. There is little correlation between the subjective assessment of subtypes and the more objective quantitative data.

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