Immunohistochemical evidence for apoptosis in Alzheimer's disease

Neuroreport. 1994 Dec 20;5(18):2529-33. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199412000-00031.


Recently, in vitro studies conducted in our laboratory and others have suggested that apoptosis may have a role in the neuronal cell death associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). To evaluate this hypothesis, the hippocampi and entorhinal cortices of AD, aged control, and surgical biopsy tissue were examined using the ApopTag system for the detection of DNA fragmentation and DNA strains to reveal nuclear morphology. Numerous neuronal nuclei displaying distinct morphological characteristics of apoptosis were present within tangle-bearing neurons as well as non-tangle-bearing neurons in AD brain, whereas few or no such nuclei were detected in control brain. Our in vivo results support the hypothesis that apoptosis may be one mechanism leading neuronal cell death in AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Apoptosis*
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA Damage
  • Entorhinal Cortex / metabolism
  • Entorhinal Cortex / pathology
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / pathology
  • Reference Values


  • DNA