Immunohistochemical identification of thrombospondin in normal human brain and in Alzheimer's disease

L. Buee, P. R. Hof, D. D. Roberts, A. Delacourte, John Morrison, H. M. Fillit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Thrombospondin is part of a family of adhesive glycoproteins and is involved in a number of physiologic processes such as angiogenesis and neurite out-growth. Immunohistochemical localization of thrombospondin in normal human brains was investigated in the hippocampus and inferior temporal cortex. Two antibodies (one polyclonal and one monoclonal) against thrombospondin-labeled microvessels, glial cells, and a subpopulation of pyramidal neurons. The distribution of thrombospondin staining in patients with Alzheimer's disease was found to be comparable to control subjects. However, in patients with Alzheimer's disease a subset of pyramidal neurons that may be vulnerable in Alzheimer's disease exhibited decreased staining. This decrease in the intensity of labeling might constitute a marker for a neuronal population prone to early degeneration. In addition, thrombospondin staining was demonstrated in senile plaques in Alzheimer's disease. These results suggest that thrombospondin may be involved in the process of neuronal degeneration and senile plaque formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-788
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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