FUS immunogold labeling TEM analysis of the neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions of neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease: a frontotemporal lobar degeneration with FUS proteinopathy

J Mol Neurosci. 2011 Nov;45(3):409-21. doi: 10.1007/s12031-011-9549-8. Epub 2011 May 21.


Fused in sarcoma (FUS)-immunoreactive neuronal and glial inclusions define a novel molecular pathology called FUS proteinopathy. FUS has been shown to be a component of inclusions of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with FUS mutation and three frontotemporal lobar degeneration entities, including neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease (NIFID). The pathogenic role of FUS is unknown. In addition to FUS, many neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCI) of NIFID contain aggregates of α-internexin and neurofilament proteins. Herein, we have shown that: (1) FUS becomes relatively insoluble in NIFID and there are no apparent posttranslational modifications, (2) there are no pathogenic abnormalities in the FUS gene in NIFID, and (3) immunoelectron microscopy demonstrates the fine structural localization of FUS in NIFID which has not previously been described. FUS localized to euchromatin, and strongly with paraspeckles, in nuclei, consistent with its RNA/DNA-binding functions. NCI of varying morphologies were observed. Most frequent were the "loosely aggregated cytoplasmic inclusions," 81% of which had moderate or high levels of FUS immunoreactivity. Much rarer "compact cytoplasmic inclusions" and "tangled twine ball inclusions" were FUS-immunoreactive at their granular peripheries, or heavily FUS-positive throughout, respectively. Thus, FUS may aggregate in the cytoplasm and then admix with neuronal intermediate filament accumulations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain / pathology
  • Female
  • Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration / metabolism
  • Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry*
  • Inclusion Bodies / pathology*
  • Intermediate Filaments / metabolism
  • Intermediate Filaments / pathology*
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission / methods*
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurofilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • RNA-Binding Protein FUS / metabolism*


  • Neurofilament Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Protein FUS