Parvalbumin and calbindin D-28 k immunoreactivity in dorsal root ganglia in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

I. Nagano, P. Shapshak, M. Yoshioka, K. Q. Xin, S. Nakamura, W. G. Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Various degrees of neuronal degeneration have been found in lumbosacral dorsal root ganglia of patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). To characterize the subpopulations of primary sensory neurons affected in AIDS, we immunostained dorsal root ganglion tissues from 11 AIDS patients and six controls using antibodies to the calcium binding proteins, parvalbumin and calbindin D-28 k. In controls, the proportion of neurons containing parvalbumin and calbindin was 18.0% and 22.4%, respectively. The majority of parvalbumin-positive neurons, which are thought to be proprioceptive neurons, were of medium to large size, while calbindin was found in both large- and small-sized neurons. The density of parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons was reduced by 7.3% in AIDS patients, but the density of calbindin-immunoreactive neurons was preserved. Furthermore, in AIDS cases, the number of parvalbumin-positive neurons was reduced more in dorsal root ganglia in which human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antigen was detected than in HIV-negative ganglia. These results suggest that specific subpopulations of sensory neurons positive for parvalbumin may be differentially affected over the course of AIDS, and that this could be related to peripheral neuropathy which frequently occurs in the late stages of AIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-301
Number of pages9
JournalNeuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996


  • AIDS
  • Calbindin D-28 k
  • Calcium-binding protein
  • Dorsal root ganglia
  • Parvalbumin
  • Peripheral neuropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)


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