Laminar distribution of pick bodies, pick cells and Alzheimer disease pathology in the frontal and temporal cortex in Pick’s disease.

Lesions in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) have distinct laminar distributions in the cortex. The objective of the present study was to test the hypothesis that the lesions characteristic of Pick’s disease (PD) and AD have distinctly different laminar distributions in cases of PD. Hence, the laminar distribution of Pick bodies (PB), Pick cells (PC), senile plaques (SP) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) was studied in the frontal and temporal cortex in nine patients with PD.

In 57% of analyses of individual cortical areas, the density of PB was maximal in the upper cortex while in 25% of analyses, the distribution of PB was bimodal with density peaks in the upper and lower cortex. The density of PC was maximal in the lower cortex in 77% of analyses while a bimodal distribution was present in 5% of analyses. The density of NFT was maximal in the upper cortex in 50% of analyses, in the lower cortex in 15% of analyses, with a bimodal distribution in 4% of analyses. The density of SP did not vary significantly with cortical depth in 86% of analyses. The vertical densities of PB and PC were negatively correlated in 12/21 (57%) of brain areas. The maximum density of PB in the upper cortex was positively correlated with the maximum density of PC in the lower cortex. In 17/25 (68%) of brain areas, there was no significant correlation between the vertical densities of PB and NFT.

The data suggest that the pathogenesis of PB may be related to that of the PC. In addition, although in many areas PB and NFT occur predominantly in the upper cortex, the two lesions appeared to affect different neuronal populations.

Source: Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol 1999 Aug;25(4):266-71

PMID: 10476043, UI: 99406947

(Vision Sciences*, Aston University, Birmingham. )

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