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Curly fiber and tangle-like inclusions in the ependyma and choroid plexus--a pathogenetic relationship with the cortical Alzheimer-type changes?


, : Curly fiber and tangle-like inclusions in the ependyma and choroid plexus--a pathogenetic relationship with the cortical Alzheimer-type changes?. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 57(12): 1202-1212

The question of whether thread- and tangle-like inclusions of the choroid plexus (known as Biondi inclusions) are related to the cortical lesions in Alzheimer disease (AD) has been debated for almost a century, yet remains unanswered. Recently beta-amyloid protein was biochemically isolated from the plexus, indicating a possible pathogenetic relationship between the degenerative changes of the cerebral cortex and those of the plexus. The goal of the present study was to analyze whether or not a significant correlation exists between the occurrence of the cortical AD-type changes and those in the ependyma and choroid plexus. In 292 consecutive autopsy cases several cortical areas, the ependyma, and the choroid plexus were analyzed to look for AD-type changes and Biondi inclusions using histochemical staining techniques and immunohistochemistry. A semiquantitative analysis of the density of cortical AD-type changes showed that of the 292 cases, 63 had severe cortical changes, 23 moderate changes, and 142 discrete changes. In 64 cases no plaques or neurofibrillary tangles were found. The number of cases with thread- and tangle-like elements in the plexus and ependyma was more than 96% in the 3 groups with cortical AD-type lesions, but low in the group without AD-type cortical changes (19%). The pathological argyrophilic filaments accumulating in the ependymal layer and plexus had histochemical properties of amyloid and were immunoreactive with antibodies to P component, ubiquitin, fibronectin and Tau protein. They did not react with antibodies to neurofilament proteins. Ultrastructurally, they consisted of densely packed straight and paired helical filaments and closely resembled neurofibrillary tangles and neuropil threads. The highly significant correlation (chi2, p = 0.001; R = 0.85) between the occurrence of AD-type changes in the cortex and those in ependyma and plexus suggests a pathogenetic relationship.

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PMID: 9862643


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