Lewy body-related α-synucleinopathy in the spinal cord of cases with incidental Lewy body disease
Article first published online: 29 MAR 2011
© 2011 Japanese Society of Neuropathology
Volume 32, Issue 1, pages 13–22, February 2012
How to Cite
Tamura, T., Yoshida, M., Hashizume, Y. and Sobue, G. (2012), Lewy body-related α-synucleinopathy in the spinal cord of cases with incidental Lewy body disease. Neuropathology, 32: 13–22. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1789.2011.01211.x
- Issue published online: 16 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 29 MAR 2011
- Received 15 December 2010; revised 26 January 2011 and accepted 27 January 2011.
- incidental Lewy body disease;
- intermediolateral nucleus;
- lewy body;
- pathology of the spinal cord;
- phosphorylated α-synuclein
Incidental Lewy body disease (ILBD) represents the early asymptomatic phase of Lewy body diseases (LBD), including idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD). Although pathological disturbances in the spinal cord, which connects the brain to the peripheral nervous system, plays an important role, the pathology of ILBD has not been adequately examined. Eighteen ILBD and eight age-matched LBD cases were enrolled in the present study. LB-related pathology was immunohistochemically evaluated using anti-phosphorylated α-synuclein (pαSyn) antibodies, revealing LB-related pathology in the spinal cords of 15 (83.3%) of the ILBD cases. Attempts were made to identify the early pattern of pαSyn deposition in the spinal cord by comparing the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral segments in detail. Most pαSyn-positive structures were distributed in and around the autonomic nuclei of the spinal cord. The intermediolateral nuclei in the thoracic segments (Th/IML) were the most frequently and severely affected region, suggesting that Th/IML are the first structures affected. Furthermore, following analysis of the distribution pattern of the pαSyn-positive structures, it is suspected that LB-related pathology progresses toward the caudal vertebrae by involving neurons in the spinal cord that are vulnerable to αSyn. It should be noted that the ILBD cases enrolled in the present study were in an earlier stage than the PD cases enrolled in the previous study, and that the present study provides new, previously undescribed information.