RNA sequestration to pathological lesions of neurodegenerative diseases

Stephen D. Ginsberg, James E. Galvin, T. S. Chiu, Virginia M.Y. Lee, Eliezer Masliah, John Q. Trojanowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Cytoplasmic RNA species have been identified recently within neurofibrillary tangles and senile plaques of Alzheimer's disease brain. To determine whether RNA sequestration is a common feature of other lesions found in progressive neurodegenerative disorders, acridine orange histofluorescence was employed, alone or in combination with immunohistochemistry and thioflavine-S staining to identify RNA species in paraffin-embedded brain tissue sections. Postmortem samples came from 39 subjects with the following diagnoses: Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex of Guam, corticobasal degeneration, diffuse Lewy body disease, normal controls, multiple system atrophy, Parkinson's disease, Pick's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, and Shy-Drager syndrome. RNAs were detected in neurofibrillary tangles and neuritic senile plaques as well as in Pick bodies. However, Lewy bodies, Hirano bodies, and cytoplasmic glial inclusions did not contain abundant cytoplasmic RNA species. These observations demonstrate the selective localization of RNA species to distinct pathological lesions of neurodegenerative disease brains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-494
Number of pages8
JournalActa neuropathologica
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Acridine orange
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Neurofibrillary tangles
  • Pick's disease
  • Senile plaques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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