Immunohistochemical analysis of the basal forebrain in Alzheimer's disease

Roland W. Jacobs, Taihung Duong, Arnold B. Scheibel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


An immunohistochemical analysis utilizing antibodies to glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP), microglia, β-amyloid, amyloid P-component, neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), and microtubule associated protein-tau (MAP-tau) was performed on the cholinergic basal forebrain in Alzheimer's disease (AD). This severely compromised system, which includes the nucleus basalis of Meynert, is largely responsible for the massive loss of cortical and subcortical cholinergic innervation in the diseased state. Our study juxtaposes the basal forebrain immunohistopathology to the hippocampus, amygdala, and entorhinal cortex in AD. Key findings include a progressive degeneration of these cholinergic neurons charcterized by the formation of immunoreactively atypical NFT, the loss of intraneuronal lipofuscin, a lack of senile plaque and β-amyloid deposition within the basal forebrain, and endstage gliosis without residual extracellular NFT. These structural and compositional differences suggest a unique pathogenesis of the basal forebrain separate from other cortical regions in AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalMolecular and Chemical Neuropathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • amyloid P-component
  • end-stage gliosis
  • glial fibrillary acid protein
  • lipofuscin
  • microglia
  • neurofibrillary tangles
  • nucleus basalis of Meynert
  • senile plaques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology

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