Regional changes in [3H]D-aspartate and [3H]TCP binding sites in Alzheimer's disease brains

Brain Res. 1988 Oct 11;462(1):76-82. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(88)90587-2.


The specific binding of [3H]D-aspartate, a marker for the presynaptic glutamate uptake site, and [3H]N-(1-[2-Thienyl]cyclohexyl)-piperidine [( 3H]TCP), a high affinity ligand for the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-associated phencyclidine binding site, was measured in homogenates of brain from normal subjects and from subjects with neuropathologically confirmed Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease was associated with a reduction in [3H]D-aspartate binding density in temporal cortex and caudate nucleus. By contrast, a reduction in the receptor density for [3H]TCP binding was only recorded in the frontal cortex. Thus, glutamate-containing nerve terminals are severely reduced in Alzheimer's disease, whilst the postsynaptic NMDA-phencyclidine receptor complex is much less affected. These findings have implications for theories of glutamate neurotoxicity in Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Aspartic Acid / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phencyclidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Phencyclidine / pharmacology
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / metabolism*


  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • Aspartic Acid
  • tenocyclidine
  • Phencyclidine