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J Neurol Sci. 1986 Dec;76(2-3):143-50.

Qualitative abnormalities of choline acetyltransferase in Alzheimer type dementia.


The maximum activity of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the affinity for choline or acetyl-CoA and the isozyme pattern in the cerebral cortex of 5 cases of Alzheimer type dementia (ATD) and 6 age-matched control subjects were examined post-mortem. Maximum activities of ChAT were estimated in 5 cerebral cortical areas of Brodmann: 4, 7, 10, 17 and 22. A significant reduction in maximum activities of ChAT was found in all cortical areas for the cases of ATD. The affinity for choline or acetyl-CoA was measured in the frontal cortex (Brodmann's areas 4 and 6) and in the temporal cortex (Brodmann's areas 21 and 22). The affinity was significantly decreased in both cortices of demented patients. A significant correlation was observed between maximum activity of ChAT and the affinity for choline or acetyl-CoA. The isozyme pattern obtained by column chromatography on Sephadex G-200 was similar to that obtained by centrifugation on a sucrose density gradient. The isozyme pattern of ATD was different from that of the control subjects. These results suggest qualitative as well as quantitative abnormalities in the ChAT in autopsied brains of ATD.

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