Cell Counts in the Nucleus Basalis of Meynert and the Supraoptic Nucleus in Alzheimer-Diseased Brains

  • P. Etienne
  • Y. Robitaille
  • A. Parent
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 30)


In autopsy studies of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) cases, a profound reduction of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity in cerebral cortex and hippocampus brain homogenates has been observed by several groups. The loss of ChAT activity correlates with intellectual impairment and degree of histopathological change. In brain biopsy studies, Bowen and his group have shown that the ChAT deficiency was accompanied by loss of acetylcholine synthesizing ability regardless of substrate concentration (11). Catecholaminergic and GABAergic systems have also been implicated in this condition although their functional alterations are so far generally considered to be smaller and only found in a fraction of AD pa- tients. Recently, Bowen and his group reported that the uptake of serotonin, the content of indoleamines and the number of serotonin receptors are reduced in Alzheimer brains (3). Finally, somatostatin-like immunoreactivity is reduced in brain (4, 9) and CSF (17) of Alzheimer patients. Clearly, a cholinergic functional deficit in AD is now well-established but its importance relative to other neurotransmitter deficits is now being questioned.


Large Neuron Supraoptic Nucleus ChAT Activity Alzheimer Change Rich Section 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Ball, M.J. (1977): Acta Neuropathologica 37: 111–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bondareff, W., Mountjoy, D.Q. and Roth, M. (1981): Lancet I: 783–784.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bowen, D.M., Allen, S.J., Benton, M.J., Goodhardt, M.J., Haan, E.A., Palmer, A.M., Sims, N.R., Smith, C.C.T., Spillane, J.A., Esiri, M.M., Neary, D., Snowden, J.S., Wilcock, G.K. and Davison, A.N. (1983): J. Neurochem. 41: 266–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Davies, P. and Terry, R.D. (1981): Neurobiol. Aging 2: 9–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mann, D.M., Yates, P.O. (1983): J. Neurol. Neuro surg. and Psych. 46: 96–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nagai, T., McGeer, P.L., Peng, J.H., McGeer, E.G. and Dolman, C.E. (1983): Neurosci. Lett. 36: 195–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Parent, A., Csonka, C. and Etienne, P. (1984): Brain Research 291: 154–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Perry, R.H., Candy, J.M., Perry, E.K., Irving, D., Blessed, G., Fairbairn, A.F. and Tomlinson, B.E. (1982): Neurosci. Lett. 33: 311–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Rossor, M.N., Emson, P.C., Mountjoy, C.Q., Roth, M. and Iversen, L.L. (1980): Neurosci. Lett. 20: 373–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rossor, M.N., Svendsen, C., Hunt, S.P., Mountjoy, C.Q., Roth, M. and Iversen, L.L. (1982): Neurosci. Lett. 28: 217–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sims, N.R., Bowen, D.M., Davison, A.N. (1981): Biochemical Journal 196: 867–876.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Terry, R.D., Peck, A., DeTeresa, R., Schechter, R., Horonpian, D.S. (1981): Annals of Neurology 10: 184–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tomlinson, B.E., Irving, D. and Blessed, G. (1981): J. Neurol. Sci. 49: 419–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Von Buttlar-Brentano, K. (1954): Journal fur Hirnforschung Bd. 1, Heft 4 /5, p. 407.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Whitehouse, P.J., Price, D.L., Clark, A.W., Coyle, J.T. and De Long, M.R. (1981): Ann. Neurol. 10: 122–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Whitehouse, P.J., Price, D.L., Struble, R.B., Clark, A.W., Coyle, J.T. and De Long, M.R. (1982): Science 15: 1237–1239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wood, P.L., Etienne, P., Lal, S., Gauthier, S., Cajal, S. and Nair, N.P.V. (1982): Life Sci. 31: 2073–2079.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Etienne
    • 1
  • Y. Robitaille
    • 2
  • A. Parent
    • 3
  1. 1.Douglas Hospital Research CentreVerdunCanada
  2. 2.Montreal Neurological InstituteMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Laboratoire de NeurobiologieHospital de l’Enfant-JesusQuebecCanada

Personalised recommendations