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Review
. 2007 Oct;27(5):494-506.
doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1789.2007.00803.x.

The Lewy Body in Parkinson's Disease: Molecules Implicated in the Formation and Degradation of Alpha-Synuclein Aggregates

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Review

The Lewy Body in Parkinson's Disease: Molecules Implicated in the Formation and Degradation of Alpha-Synuclein Aggregates

Koichi Wakabayashi et al. Neuropathology. .

Abstract

The histological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD) is the presence of fibrillar aggregates called Lewy bodies (LBs). LB formation has been considered to be a marker for neuronal degeneration, because neuronal loss is found in the predilection sites for LBs. To date, more than 70 molecules have been identified in LBs, in which alpha-synuclein is a major constituent of LB fibrils. Alpha-synuclein immunohistochemistry reveals that diffuse cytoplasmic staining develops into pale bodies via compaction, and that LBs arise from the peripheral portion of pale bodies. This alpha-synuclein abnormality is found in 10% of pigmented neurons in the substantia nigra and more than 50% of those in the locus ceruleus in PD. Recent studies have suggested that oligomers and protofibrils of alpha-synuclein are cytotoxic, and that LBs may represent a cytoprotective mechanism in PD.

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