Distribution of tangles and threads in the cerebral cortex in progressive supranuclear palsy

Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 1995 Aug;21(4):319-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2990.1995.tb01066.x.


Recent studies have described silver- and tau-positive glia and threads in the degenerating lesions of progressive supranuclear palsy. In this study, Gallyas-Braak silver impregnation and several immunohistochemical techniques were employed to examine the distribution of tangles, abnormal glia and threads in the cerebral cortex of nine cases of progressive supranuclear palsy. In addition to neurofibrillary tangles, argentophilic glia and threads were impregnated exclusively by Gallyas-Braak technique. This technique demonstrated two types of glia profiles: tightly coiled intra-cytoplasmic profiles surrounding nuclei (coiled profiles) and thorn-like profiles with radial ramifications (thorn-like profiles). Thorn-like profiles are possibly in astrocytes and were detected in the cerebral cortex, while coiled profiles are possibly in oligodendroglia and were detected both in the cerebral cortex and subcortical white matter. Topographically, many neurofibrillary tangles were constantly seen in the frontal cortex and in the pre-central gyrus. Numerous neurofibrillary tangles were detected in the entorhinal cortex of the two brains. Argentophilic glia and threads were also frequent both in the frontal cortex and the precentral gyrus; however, they were more frequent in the pre-central gyrus that in the frontal cortex in four of the eight cases examined. In two brains, argentophilic threads were distributed widely in the cerebral cortex and white matter except for the temporal cortex. In immunohistochemical studies, argentophilic glia and threads were mostly positive for Tau 2, and a small number of them were weakly positive for ubiquitin and paired helical filament protein. The immunoproperties of these abnormal glia and threads seemed to be virtually identical to those of neurofibrillary tangles.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Cytoskeleton / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / metabolism
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / pathology*
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Neuroglia / physiology
  • Silver Staining
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / metabolism
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / pathology*
  • tau Proteins / metabolism


  • tau Proteins