Fetal life in Down Syndrome starts with normal neuronal density but impaired dendritic spines and synaptosomal structure

  • R. Weitzdoerfer
  • M. Dierssen
  • M. Fountoulakis
  • G. Lubec


Information on fetal brain in Down Syndrome (DS) is limited and there are only few histological, mainly anecdotal reports and no systematic study on the wiring of the brain in early prenatal life exists. Histological methods are also hampered by inherent problems of morphometry of neuronal structures. It was therefore the aim of the study to evaluate neuronal loss, synaptic structures and dendritic spines in the fetus with Down Syndrome as compared to controls by biochemical measurements. 2 dimensional electrophoresis with subsequent mass spectroscopical identification of spots and their quantification with specific software was selected. This technique identifies proteins unambiguously and concomitantly on the same gel. Fetal cortex samples were taken at autopsy with low post-mortem time, homogenized and neuron specific enolase (NSE) determined as a marker for neuronal density, the synaptosomal associated proteins alpha SNAP [soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion (NSF) attachment protein], beta SNAP, SNAP 25 and the channel associated protein of synapse 110 (chapsyn 110) as markers for synaptosomal structures and drebrin (DRB) as marker for dendritic spines. NSE, chapsyn 110 and beta SNAP were comparable in the control fetus panel and in Down Syndrome fetuses.


Down Syndrome Dendritic Spine Neuron Specific Enolase Neuronal Density Down Syndrome Brain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Weitzdoerfer
    • 1
  • M. Dierssen
    • 2
  • M. Fountoulakis
    • 3
  • G. Lubec
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Medical and Molecular Genetics Center-IROHospital Duran i ReynalsBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Gene TechnologiesF. Hoffman-La RocheBaselSwitzerland

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