Decreased protein synthetic activity of the hypothalamic tuberomamillary nucleus in Alzheimer's disease as suggested by smaller Golgi apparatus
N. K. Gonatas
D. F. Swaab
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The nucleus tuberalis lateralis (NTL) and tuberomamillary nucleus (TM), which are located close together in the tuberal region of the human hypothalamus., are differentially affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD). In AD, the NTL shows only early cytoskeletal alterations, i.e. pre-tangle stages, while the TM is characterised by advanced Alzheimer's changes, e.g. neurofibrillary degeneration, senile plaques and amyloid deposition. Earlier we showed that the early cytoskeletal alterations in the NTL are not accompanied by changes in protein synthetic activity. The present study was carried out in order to measure the protein synthetic activity of the neighbouring area, the TM, which is severely affected by advanced Alzheimer changes. A polyclonal antibody against MG-160, a conserved membrane sialoglycoprotein of the Golgi apparatus, was used to stain this organelle and using an image analysis system, the size of the Golgi apparatus was measured as an index for synthetic and secretory activity in 15 Alzheimer patients and 21 controls. A significant decrease in the: size of the Golgi apparatus was found in the TM neurons in AD, although the cell profile area remained unchanged. These data suggest that the protein synthetic and secretory activity of TM neurons is indeed decreased in AD. © 1995.