Evidence for a Neuronal Origin of Senile Plaques in Down’s Syndrome Brains

  • David Allsop
  • Sei-ichi Haga
  • Chie Haga
  • Tsuyoshi Ishii
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 38A)


A newly developed methenamine silver (MS)/Nissl stain was used to study the relationship of pre-plaques in Down’s syndrome (DS) brains with glial nuclei, capillaries and neuronal perikarya. The larger pre-plaques often encompassed all of these tissue elements, but the smaller ones were almost always found immediately adjacent to, or around the cell bodies of neurons. Thus we consider an early stage of senile plaque (SP) formation to be the deposition of amyloid substance adjacent to the cell body of a morphologically normal neuron. We suggest that the amyloid progressively accumulates around the cell body until the enclosed neuron degenerates. Finally, the necrotic cell body is replaced by amyloid, resulting in a stellate formation of amyloid with degenerating neurites in the periphery. Larger SP may be formed from a cluster of several neurons. Our observations support the idea of a neuronal origin for SP and for SP amyloid.


Senile Plaque Neuronal Cell Body Neuronal Perikaryon Dendritic Field Methenamine Silver 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Allsop
    • 1
  • Sei-ichi Haga
    • 1
  • Chie Haga
    • 1
  • Tsuyoshi Ishii
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychiatric Research Institute of TokyoSetagaya-ku, Tokyo 156Japan

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