Polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) is widely expressed in the adult human brain and facilitates structural remodeling of cells through steric inhibition of intercellular NCAM adhesion. We previously showed that PSA-NCAM immunoreactivity is decreased in the entorhinal cortex in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Based on available evidence, we hypothesized that a loss of PSA-NCAM+ interneurons may underlie this reduction. PSA-NCAM expression by interneurons has previously been described in the human medial prefrontal cortex. Here we used postmortem human brain tissue to provide further evidence of PSA-NCAM+ interneurons throughout the human hippocampal formation and additional cortical regions. Furthermore, PSA-NCAM+ cell populations were assessed in the entorhinal cortex of normal and AD cases using fluorescent double labeling and manual cell counting. We found a significant decrease in the number of PSA-NCAM+ cells per mm2 in layer II and V of the entorhinal cortex, supporting our previous description of reduced PSA-NCAM immunoreactivity. Additionally, we found a significant decrease in the proportion of PSA-NCAM+ cells that co-labeled with NeuN and parvalbumin, but no change in the proportion that co-labeled with calbindin or calretinin. These results demonstrate that PSA-NCAM is expressed by a variety of interneuron populations throughout the brain. Furthermore, that loss of PSA-NCAM expression by NeuN+ cells predominantly contributes to the reduced PSA-NCAM immunoreactivity in the AD entorhinal cortex.
Pubmed ID: 29429526 RIS Download
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