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A new type of neuronal cytoplasmic inclusion: histological, ultrastructural, and immunocytochemical studies

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Summary

A novel type of non-viral cytoplasmic inclusion is described, which was seen in virtually every neuron in the brain and spinal cord of a child with a presumed metabolic disorder whose clinical picture and CNS pathology were compatible with Leigh Syndrome. The ovoid to round inclusions were sharply demarcated, measuring up to 11 μm in diameter. They showed no distinctive staining with a battery of routine histological techniques. The ultrastructural features are unique, comprising non-membrane-bounded aggregates of randomly oriented plate-like structures with parallel linear densities depicting a periodicity of 11–16 nm. Immunocytochemical studies revealed strong staining with antisera to tropomyosin and weaker staining with antisera to actin. There was no reactivity with antibodies against neurofilaments, microtubules and their associated proteins, paired helical filaments, ubiquitin, vinculin or alpha-actinin. It is postulated that the metabolic disorder resulted in a neurodegenerative condition which manifested pathologically with lesions compatible with those of Leigh Syndrome. Associated with the condition was the discrete accumulation of cytoplasmic proteinaceous components, including tropomyosin, in the form of neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions possibly resulting from an alteration of the neuronal cytoskeleton.

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Correspondence to D. G. Munoz.

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Lew, E.O., Rozdilsky, B., Munoz, D.G. et al. A new type of neuronal cytoplasmic inclusion: histological, ultrastructural, and immunocytochemical studies. Acta Neuropathol 77, 599–604 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00687887

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Key words

  • Neuronal inclusions
  • Leigh disease
  • Tropomyosin
  • Actin
  • Ultrastructure