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February 1989

Neuronal RNA in Pick's and Alzheimer's Diseases: Comparison of Disease-Susceptible and Disease-Resistant Cortical Areas

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Biochemistry (Drs Doebler and Rhoads) and of Pathology and Neurology (Dr Markesbery), University of Kentucky College of Medicine, and Sanders-Brown Research Center on Aging (Drs Doebler and Markesbery), Lexington, Ky; and the Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park (Dr Anthony).

Arch Neurol. 1989;46(2):134-137. doi:10.1001/archneur.1989.00520380034009

• Comparative neuronal RNA analyses were conducted in disease-prone (frontal association, Brodmann's area 9) vs relatively disease-resistant (primary visual, occipital area 17) cortex of patients with •autopsy-proved Pick's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Azure B-RNA staining and scanning-integrating microdensitometry were used to determine total RNA contents of pyramidal neurons in layers 3 and 5. In both PD and AD (1) significant (15% to 47%) RNA loss was detected in neurons of both cortical areas and layers relative to those of aged, nondemented controls, and (2) RNA loss was not markedly enhanced in the damaged frontal cortex relative to that in the preserved occipital cortex. Neuronal RNA depletion was generally more marked in PD than in AD. However, this impairment does not appear to be related to the formation of classic neuropathological abnormalities in either disease.

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