Neuron-binding antibodies in Alzheimer's diseases and Down's syndrome

M. Franceschi, M. Comola, R. Nemni, P. Pinto, S. Iannaccone, Sl Smirne, N. Canal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We used an indirect immunoperoxidase technique (Avidin-Biotin system) to study the sera of patients with 'clinically probable' Alzheimer's disease (AD) and with Down's Syndrome (DS), compared with age-matched controls. Diluted sera were incubated with paraffin sections of hippocampus, frontal, temporal, and parieto-occipital lobes from normal human brains. Biotinylated anti-human goat gamma-globulins were used as secondary antisera. A significantly greater percentage of neurons were immunostained in all the brain regions (frontal, temporal, and parieto-occipital lobes and hippocampus) incubated with sera of AD patients than with sera of DS patients or of controls. This indicates that AD patients have an excess of circulating neuron-binding antibodies (NBAs), mainly reacting with cytoplasmic structures. NBAs could be either the cause or the result of the cerebral lesion found in AD. This study is not able to answer this question, but some previous data from our own and other laboratories suggest that NBAs have a role in the pathogenesis of AD lesions. Since we found no increase of NBAs in DS patients, the brain lesions in DS appear to have a different pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournals of Gerontology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing


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