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Am J Pathol. 1995 Nov;147(5):1465-76.

Cortical and brainstem-type Lewy bodies are immunoreactive for the cyclin-dependent kinase 5.

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Laboratory of Pathology and Electron Microscopy, Free University of Brussels, Belgium.


The immunoreactivity of cortical and brainstem-type Lewy bodies has been investigates with antibodies to the cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (cdk5), to the extracellular regulated kinase 1 (ERK-1), and to the cdc2p34 kinase and with antibodies specific for phosphorylation epitopes typical of paired helical filament-tau (PHF-tau). Both cortical and brainstem-type Lewy bodies in diffuse Lewy body disease and brainstem-type Lewy bodies in Parkinson's disease were found to be immunoreactive for cdk5 but not for cdc2p34 or ERK-1 or with the PHF-tau antibodies. Double immunolabeling showed that cdk5-positive Lewy bodies were also ubiquitin immunoreactive and that cdk5 antibodies labeled as many Lewy bodies as ubiquitin antibodies in adequately fixed tissue. The cdk5 immunoreactivity of Lewy bodies was abolished by preabsorption of the antibody with a cdk5 peptide. The antibodies to cdk5 labeled a single 33-kd species on Western blots of human brain homogenates, with a similar intensity in control, diffuse Lewy body disease, and Alzheimer's disease, and this cdk5 species was found mainly in the particulate fraction of brain homogenates. This observation suggests that cdk5 might be a protein kinase involved in the phosphorylation of a molecular component of Lewy bodies, for example, neurofilament proteins known to be present in these inclusions.

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