Ultrastructure and biochemistry of sympathetic ganglia in idiopathic orthostatic hypotension

Carol Petito, I. B. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The role of transsynaptic dysfunction in the pathogenesis of idiopathic orthostatic hypotension (IOH, or idiopathic autonomic insufficiency) was examined microscopically and biochemically in autopsy specimens. Light microscopy of the sympathetic ganglia showed abnormalities in all 4 IOH patients, including focal phagocytosis of neurons, increased numbers of satellite cells, and perivascular lymphocytic infiltrates. Electron microscopy revealed proliferation and hypertrophy of satellite cells and abnormalities in the unmyelinated axons. In contrast, the spinal cord intermediolateral columns, containing the presynaptic neurons, were unremarkable in 1 patient, exhibited only mild gliosis in another, and showed neuron loss and fibrillary gliosis in 2 patients. Postsynaptic dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DBH) activity was decreased at least fourfold (p < 0.02) in sympathetic ganglia of patients with IOH, while tyrosine hydroxylase (T-OH) was normal. Ganglion choline acetyltransferase (ChAc) activity, an index of presynaptic function and integrity, was normal in the IOH group. A number of observations suggest that presynaptic disease is not an absolute requirement for adrenergic abnormalities in IOH. The intermediolateral columns of the spinal cord were histologically normal in 2 of the patients with IOH, and ultrastructural abnormalities in sympathetic ganglia were consistent with primary adrenergic degeneration. In addition, presynaptic ChAc activity was normal in IOH ganglia, whereas postsynaptic DBH activity was depressed. Finally, postsynaptic T-OH activity, which is regulated by transsynaptic mechanisms, was normal in IOH ganglia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-17
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Volume4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1978
Externally publishedYes

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Sympathetic Ganglia
Biochemistry
Ganglia
Gliosis
Choline O-Acetyltransferase
Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
Neurons
Adrenergic Agents
Spinal Cord
Mixed Function Oxygenases
Phagocytosis
Hypertrophy
Axons
Microscopy
Autopsy
Dopamine
Electron Microscopy
Cell Count
Idiopathic orthostatic hypotension
Light

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Ultrastructure and biochemistry of sympathetic ganglia in idiopathic orthostatic hypotension. / Petito, Carol; Black, I. B.

In: Annals of Neurology, Vol. 4, No. 1, 01.01.1978, p. 6-17.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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