Fragmentation of Golgi apparatus of nigral neurons with alpha-synuclein-positive inclusions in patients with Parkinson's disease

Acta Neuropathol. 2006 Sep;112(3):261-5. doi: 10.1007/s00401-006-0114-4. Epub 2006 Jul 20.


We examined whether the Golgi apparatus (GA) is fragmented in nigral neurons in 18 cases with Parkinson's disease (PD) and in 8 control cases. The nigral neurons in cases with PD showed various degrees of Lewy pathology with alpha-synuclein immunohistochemistry, and we divided the neurons into three subtypes according to differences in alpha-synuclein immunoreactivity: (1) neurons without pale bodies or Lewy bodies, (2) neurons with pale bodies, and (3) neurons with Lewy bodies. In controls, we did not observe fragmented GA in nigral neurons by immunocytochemistry with an anti-TGN46 antibody. In PD, the GA was fragmented in 3% of the nigral neurons without inclusions, and in 5% of the neurons with Lewy bodies. In contrast, fragmented GA was noted in 19% of the neurons containing pale bodies. Since pale bodies represent early stages in the development of brainstem Lewy bodies, our results suggest that the cytotoxicity of alpha-synuclein-positive aggregates is reduced in the process of Lewy body formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Female
  • Golgi Apparatus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inclusion Bodies / metabolism
  • Inclusion Bodies / pathology*
  • Male
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology*
  • Substantia Nigra / pathology*
  • alpha-Synuclein / metabolism*


  • alpha-Synuclein