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Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 14;9(1):2063. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-38010-7.

Corpora amylacea in human hippocampal brain tissue are intracellular bodies that exhibit a homogeneous distribution of neo-epitopes.

Author information

1
Secció de Fisiologia, Departament de Bioquímica i Fisiologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
2
Institut de Neurociències, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
3
Institute for Anatomy, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
4
Secció de Química Terapèutica, Departament de Farmacologia, Toxicologia i Química Terapèutica, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
5
Centros de Biomedicina en Red de Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), Barcelona, Spain.
6
Institute for Anatomy, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany. martin.krueger@medizin.uni-leipzig.de.
7
Secció de Fisiologia, Departament de Bioquímica i Fisiologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. carmepelegri@ub.edu.
8
Institut de Neurociències, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. carmepelegri@ub.edu.
9
Centros de Biomedicina en Red de Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), Barcelona, Spain. carmepelegri@ub.edu.

Abstract

Corpora amylacea are spherical bodies of unknown origin and function, which accumulate in the human brain during the aging process and neurodegenerative disorders. In recent work, we reported that they contain some neo-epitopes that are recognized by natural IgMs, revealing a possible link between them and the natural immune system. Here, we performed an ultrastructural study complemented with confocal microscopy in order to shed light on the formation of corpora amylacea and to precisely localize the neo-epitopes. We show that immature corpora amylacea are intracellular astrocytic structures formed by profuse cellular debris and membranous blebs entrapped in a scattered mass of randomly oriented short linear fibers. In mature corpora amylacea, the structure becomes compacted and fibrillary material constitutes the principal component. We also determined that the neo-epitopes were uniformly localized throughout the whole structure. All these observations reinforce the idea that corpora amylacea of human brain are equivalent to another type of polyglucosan bodies named PAS granules, present in mouse brain and originated from degenerative processes. All those findings support the hypothesis that corpora amylacea are involved in the entrapment of damaged materials and non-degradable products and have a role in protective or cleaning mechanisms.

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