A reassessment of the neuropathology of frontotemporal dementia linked to chromosome 3

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2007 Oct;66(10):884-91. doi: 10.1097/nen.0b013e3181567f02.


A large Danish family has previously been reported in which autosomal dominant frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is genetically linked to chromosome 3 (FTD-3). A mutation was recently identified in the CHMP2B gene that is probably responsible for causing disease in this family. Because of its neuropathologic findings, FTD-3 was originally categorized as a subtype of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, termed "dementia lacking distinctive histopathology." We now report a reevaluation of the neuropathologic changes in this family. Postmortem material from 4 affected family members was available for examination. Gross examination revealed generalized cortical atrophy that was most severe in frontal and temporal cortices. Microscopy showed loss of cortical neurons, microvacuolation of layer II, mild gliosis, and demyelination of the deep white matter. Results of immunohistochemical staining for alpha-synuclein, prion protein, neurofilament, and tau protein were unremarkable. Variable numbers of small, round, ubiquitin-positive cytoplasmic inclusions were present in the dentate granule layer of the hippocampus in all 4 cases. Rare ubiquitin-positive inclusions were also found in frontal and temporal cortical neurons. These inclusions were also positive for p62 but not for TDP-43. The finding of ubiquitin- and p62-positive, TDP-43-negative cytoplasmic inclusions in the hippocampus and neocortex suggests reclassification of the neuropathology of FTD-3 as a unique subtype of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions that are TDP-43-negative.

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy
  • Brain / pathology
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 3 / physiology*
  • Coloring Agents
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Dementia / genetics*
  • Dementia / pathology*
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport
  • Female
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism


  • CHMP2B protein, human
  • Coloring Agents
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Ubiquitin