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Ann Neurol. 1986 Sep;20(3):282-8.

Neuropeptide Y immunoreactivity is reduced in cerebral cortex in Alzheimer's disease.


Neuropeptide Y is a 36-amino acid peptide that is found in high concentrations in cerebral cortex and is contained in cortical neurons. We measured concentrations of this peptide in postmortem tissue from patients with Alzheimer's disease and controls using a sensitive and specific radioimmunoassay. High-performance liquid chromatography showed that more than 95% of immunoreactivity co-migrated with synthetic standards in both Alzheimer's disease and control frontal cortex. Significant reductions in neuropeptide Y-like immunoreactivity were found in eleven cortical regions, the hippocampus, and the locus ceruleus. The regions particularly affected included the temporal lobe, frontal lobe, and occipital cortex. As neuropeptide Y is co-localized with somatostatin in a considerable proportion of cortical neurons, the loss of immunoreactivity may in part reflect degeneration of these neurons. Further study of the selective vulnerability of these neurons in Alzheimer's disease cortex may provide clues to the nature of the underlying disease process.

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