Lewy bodies in Parkinson's disease are recognized by antibodies to complement proteins

Acta Neuropathol. 1992;84(1):100-4. doi: 10.1007/BF00427222.


The substantia nigra (SN) in 11 Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and 5 neurologically normal controls was examined immunohistochemically using antibodies to various proteins of the complement system. In PD, but not in control SN, intra- and extraneuronal Lewy bodies and dendritic spheroid bodies were stained with anti-human C3d, C4d, C7 and C9 antibodies, but not with antibodies to C1q, fraction Bb of factor B or properdin. Axonal spheroid bodies in the nigrostriatal tract were not stained by any of the complement antibodies. However, complement-activated oligodendroglia were revealed by anti-C3d and anti-C4d antibodies in the PD substantia nigral area. These data indicate that some pathological structures in PD activate the classical complement pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Complement Activation
  • Complement System Proteins / immunology
  • Complement System Proteins / metabolism*
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunosorbent Techniques
  • Lewy Bodies / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Oligodendroglia / metabolism
  • Oligodendroglia / pathology
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology*


  • Antibodies
  • Complement System Proteins