Hippocampal pathology in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP): a quantitative study of 8 cases

Clin Neuropathol. 2009 Jan-Feb;28(1):46-53. doi: 10.5414/npp28046.


Objective: To quantify the neuronal and glial cell pathology in the hippocampus and the parahippocampal gyrus (PHG) of 8 cases of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP).

Material: tau-immunolabeled sections of the temporal lobe of 8 diagnosed cases of PSP.

Method: The densities of lesions were measured in the PHG, CA sectors of the hippocampus and the dentate gyrus (DG) and studied using spatial pattern analysis.

Results: Neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) and abnormally enlarged neurons (EN) were most frequent in the PHG and in sector CA1 of the hippocampus, oligodendroglial inclusions ("coiled bodies") (GI) in the PHG, subiculum, sectors CA1 and CA2, and neuritic plaques (NP) in sectors CA2 and CA4. The DG was the least affected region. Vacuolation and GI were observed in the alveus. No tufted astrocytes (TA) were observed. Pathological changes exhibited clustering, the lesions often exhibiting a regular distribution of the clusters parallel to the tissue boundary. There was a positive correlation between the degree of vacuolation in the alveus and the densities of NFT in CA1 and GI in CA1 and CA2.

Conclusion: The pathology most significantly affected the output pathways of the hippocampus, lesions were topographically distributed, and hippocampal pathology may be one factor contributing to cognitive decline in PSP.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Inclusion Bodies / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / pathology
  • Neuroglia / pathology
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Plaque, Amyloid / pathology
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / pathology*