Corticobasal degeneration: etiopathological significance of the cytoskeletal alterations

Acta Neuropathol. 1994;87(6):545-53. doi: 10.1007/BF00293314.


We have studied brain tissues from three patients with corticobasal degeneration (CBD) histologically, ultrastructurally and immunohistochemically. Ballooned neurons in the cerebral cortex and severe degeneration of the substantia nigra were observed in them all and weakly basophilic neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) were distributed widely in the basal ganglia and brain stem. Ultrastructural examination demonstrated that the NFTs comprised characteristic 15-nm-wide straight tubules, which showed positive immunohistochemical staining with an antibody against tau, but not ubiquitin. Tau-immunoreactive neuronal cell bodies without NFTs also were found in the cerebral cortex and subcortical nuclei, predominantly in the brain stem, and the greatest number of tau-positive glial inclusions occurred in the cerebral gray and white matter of the pre- and post-central gyri. These inclusions comprised tubular structures with diameters of about 15 nm and were localized in the oligodendroglial cellular cytoplasm and processes. These findings indicate that there is a close cytoskeletal pathological relationship between CBD and progressive supranuclear palsy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Diseases / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology*
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure*
  • Female
  • Globus Pallidus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Degeneration*
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / ultrastructure
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Substantia Nigra / pathology
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / pathology