Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 78, Issue 1, pp 16–21 | Cite as

Immunohistochemical localization of intracellular plasma proteins in the human central nervous system

  • H. M. Liu
  • J. R. Atack
  • S. I. Rapoport
Regular Papers


The regional distribution of plasma protein immunoreactivity was studied in the postmortem central nervous system (CNS) of normal subjects 18 to 78 years old. Samples taken from various areas of brain and spinal cord were processed for peroxidase-antiperoxidase immunocytochemistry using polyclonal antibodies against plasma albumin, prealbumin, α1-acid glycoprotein, α1-macroglobulin, IgG, transferrin, haptoglobin, hemopexin, fibrinogen, as well against the glial fibrillary acidic and S-100 proteins. Many neurons of the spinal cord, cranial nerve nuclei, pontine nuclei, cerebellar dentate nucleus, red nucleus, thalamus and hypothalamus showed strong immunostaining for albumin and moderate to strong staining for α1-acid, IgG, transferrin, haptoglobin, as well as relatively weak immunoreactivity against other plasma proteins. Less intense staining was seen in the nucleus basalis, putamen and Purkinje cells. In contrast, most cerebral cortical neurons were negative except for a few positively stained pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus and in layers III and V of the association neocortex, although more positive pyramidal neurons were observed in the motor and sensory neocortices. Reaction products were also seen in axons of motor and sensory long tracts. These findings suggest that plasma proteins may be transported to spinal cord and brain stem neurons by peripherally projecting nerves and that a series of anterograde and retrograde transneuronal transfers are responsible for the accumulation of plasma proteins in relay nuclei and in other CNS neurons.

Key words

Plasma protein Brain Blood-brain barrier Neuron Aging 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. M. Liu
    • 1
  • J. R. Atack
    • 2
  • S. I. Rapoport
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologyBrown University and Miriam HospitalProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on AgingNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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