Affiliations: [a] Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand | [b] Centre for Brain Research, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand | [c] Department of Anatomy with Radiology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand | [d] Department of Anatomical Pathology, LabPlus, Auckland City Hospital Auckland, New Zealand
Correspondence to: Dr. Jian Guan, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical and HealthSciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, 1023 Auckland, New Zealand. Tel.: +64 9 9236134; Fax: +64 9 3737497; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Background:String vessels are collapsed basement membrane without endothelium and have no function in circulation. String vessel formation contributes to vascular degeneration in Alzheimer disease. By comparing to age-matched control cases we have recently reported endothelial degeneration in brain capillaries of human Parkinson disease (PD). Objective:Current study evaluated changes of basement membrane of capillaries, string vessel formation and their association with astrocytes, blood-brain-barrier integrity and neuronal degeneration in PD. Methods:Brain tissue from human cases of PD and age-matched controls was used. Immunohistochemical staining for collagen IV, GFAP, NeuN, tyrosine hydroxylase, fibrinogen and Factor VIII was evaluated by image analysis in the substantia nigra, caudate nucleus and middle frontal gyrus. Results:While the basement-membrane-associated vessel density was similar between the two groups, the density of string vessels was significantly increased in the PD cases, particularly in the substantia nigra. Neuronal degeneration was found in all brain regions. Astrocytes and fibrinogen were increased in the caudate nuclei of PD cases compared with control cases. Conclusions:Endothelial degeneration and preservation of basement membrane result in an increase of string vessel formation in PD. The data may suggest a possible role for cerebral hypoperfusion in the neuronal degeneration characteristic of PD, which needs further investigation. Elevated astrocytosis in the caudate nucleus of PD cases could be associated with disruption of the blood-brain barrier in this brain region.
Keywords: Capillaries, Parkinson’s disease, age and human