Although previous studies have suggested an increased activation of humoral immunity in neurodegenerative diseases, it remains unclear whether this phenomenon is secondary to lesion formation or contributes directly to their development.
Using stereotaxic injections in macaque monkey cerebral cortex, we studied the effects of human immunoglobulins (Ig) on the neuronal cytoskeleton. Under these conditions, several MC-1-immunoreactive axons were observed in the vicinity of injection site. No MC-1 or TG-3 staining was detected in neuronal soma. Ultrastructurally, several axons in the same area displayed curly formations and accumulation of twisted tubules but not paired helical filaments.
This data suggests that Fc fragment induce conformational changes of tau and subtle structural alterations in axons in this model. Immunocytochemical analyses in human autopsy materials revealed the presence of human Fc fragments as well as Fc receptors only in large pyramidal neurons known to be vulnerable in brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease further supporting a possible role of immunoglobulins in neurodegeneration.
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