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Brain. 2013 May;136(Pt 5):1555-67. doi: 10.1093/brain/awt084. Epub 2013 Apr 18.

Defects in the striatal neuropeptide Y system in X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism.

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  • 1Parkinson’s Disease and Dystonia Research Centre, Tokushima University Hospital, University of Tokushima, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan.


Neuropeptide Y is a novel bioactive substance that plays a role in the modulation of neurogenesis and neurotransmitter release, and thereby exerts a protective influence against neurodegeneration. Using a sensitive immunohistochemical method with a tyramide signal amplification protocol, we performed a post-mortem analysis to determine the striatal localization profile of neuropeptide Y in neurologically normal individuals and in patients with X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism, a major representative of the neurodegenerative diseases that primarily involve the striatum. All of the patients examined were genetically verified as having X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism. In normal individuals, we found a scattered distribution of neuropeptide Y-positive neurons and numerous nerve fibres labelled for neuropeptide Y in the striatum. Of particular interest was a differential localization of neuropeptide Y immunoreactivity in the striatal compartments, with a heightened density of neuropeptide Y labelling in the matrix compartment relative to the striosomes. In patients with X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism, we found a significant decrease in the number of neuropeptide Y-positive cells accompanied by a marked loss of their nerve fibres in the caudate nucleus and putamen. The patients with X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism also showed a lack of neuropeptide Y labelling in the subventricular zone, where a marked loss of progenitor cells that express proliferating cell nuclear antigen was found. Our results indicate a neostriatal defect of the neuropeptide Y system in patients with X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism, suggesting its possible implication in the mechanism by which a progressive loss of striatal neurons occurs in X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism.

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