NADPH-diaphorase/nitric oxide synthase containing neurons in normal and Parkinson's disease putamen

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Nitric oxide (NO) is thought to be involved in neurodegenerative processes. Concerning Parkinson's disease (PD) it remains to be elucidated, if NO contributes to pathological alterations in the striatum. The present study evaluates the post-mortem putamen of PD patients and control subjects for distribution patterns of NO-synthase containing neurons, using the NADPH-diaphorase technique. The ratio of positively stained neurons and the total number of cells (control: 1,120±69 per mm2, n=5; PD: 575±164mm2, n=5) shows striking differences between controls and PD patients. Our findings give reason to conclude that NADPH-diaphorase positive structures may have pathogenetic importance in degenerative processes in PD putamen.