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J Neurochem. 1987 Jan;48(1):8-15.

Presynaptic serotonergic dysfunction in patients with Alzheimer's disease.


Indices of presynaptic serotonergic nerve endings were assayed in neocortical biopsy samples from patients with histologically verified Alzheimer's disease. The concentrations of 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, serotonin uptake, and K+-stimulated release of endogenous serotonin were all found to be reduced below control values. Changes occurred in samples from both the frontal and temporal lobes, but they were most severe (at least a 55% reduction) in the temporal lobe. This is indicative of substantial serotonergic denervation. Values for serotonergic markers in Alzheimer's disease samples did not show correlations with rating of the severity of dementia, indices of cholinergic innervation, or senile plaque and cortical pyramidal neurone loss. However, neurofibrillary tangle count and an index of glucose oxidation (both probably reflecting pyramidal cells) correlated with the concentration of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid.

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