Neurochemical characteristics of aluminum-induced neurofibrillary degeneration in rabbits
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Aluminum-induced neurofibrillary degeneration in rabbits is known to affect particular populations of neurons. The neurotransmitter alterations which accompany aluminum neurofibrillary degeneration were examined in order to assess how closely they mimic those of Alzheimer's disease. There was a significant reduction in choline acetyltransferase activity in entorhinal cortex and hippocampus as well as significant reductions in cortical concentrations of serotonin and norepinephrine in the aluminum-treated rabbits. Significant reductions in glutamate, aspartate and taurine were found in frontoparietal and posterior parietal cortex. Concentrations of GABA were unchanged in cerebral cortex. Both substance P and cholecystokinin immunoreactivity were significantly reduced in entorhinal cortex but there were no significant changes in somatostatin, neuropeptide Y and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide. The five neuropeptides were unaffected in striatum, thalamus, cerebellum and brainstem. Neurochemical changes were found in the regions with the most neurofibrillary degeneration while regions with little or no neurofibrillary degeneration were unaffected. The reductions in choline acetyltransferase activity, serotinin and noradrenaline suggest that some neuronal populations preferentially affected in Alzheimer's disease are also affected by aluminum-induced neurofibrillary degeneration; however, the cortical somatostatin deficit which is a feature of Alzheimer's disease is not replicated in the aluminum model.
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