Degeneration process of Lewy bodies in the brains of patients with dementia with Lewy bodies using alpha-synuclein-immunohistochemistry

Neurosci Lett. 2000 May 26;286(1):69-73. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(00)01090-9.


We investigated the degeneration process of Lewy bodies (LB) in the brains of dementia with Lewy bodies, using alpha-synuclein-immunohistochemistry. Intracellular LB, LB-related neurites and some extracellular LB were positively immunostained with anti-alpha-synuclein antibodies. Concentric LB-bearing neurons had no microglial involvement, while degenerated neurons with ill-defined LB displayed intense microglial involvement. The late stage of extracellular LB were immunoelectron-microscopically composed of loose aggregates of filamentous components with lost alpha-synuclein-immunoreactivity and penetrated astroglial processes. These findings suggest that microglias are involved during the stages from degenerated LB-bearing neurons to extracellular LB, while astroglias are involved during the stage of extracellular LB. Some intracellular LB were positive for anti-C3d and -C4d antibodies, suggesting that the classical complement pathway is activated in degenerated LB-bearing neurons, inducing microglial activation and neuronal death.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Astrocytes / chemistry
  • Astrocytes / pathology
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lewy Bodies / chemistry*
  • Lewy Bodies / pathology*
  • Lewy Body Disease / pathology*
  • Lewy Body Disease / physiopathology*
  • Microglia / chemistry
  • Microglia / pathology
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Nerve Degeneration / pathology*
  • Nerve Degeneration / physiopathology*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurites / chemistry
  • Neurites / pathology
  • Neurons / chemistry*
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Synucleins
  • alpha-Synuclein


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • SNCA protein, human
  • Synucleins
  • alpha-Synuclein