Changes in synaptic expression of clathrin assembly protein AP180 in Alzheimer's disease analysed by immunohistochemistry

P. J. Yao, R. Morsch, L. M. Callahan, P. D. Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Clathrin assembly protein AP180 plays a regulatory role in clathrin-mediated synaptic vesicle recycling in synapses. Previously, using immunoblot analysis, we observed a significant reduction of AP180 protein in Alzheimer's disease neocortex. In this study, we examined immunohistochemically the expression of AP180 in post mortem brains with Alzheimer's disease (n=5) in comparison with neurologically normal controls (n=5). Overall, AP180 was revealed as immunoreactive punctate granules located in the neuropil, and around neuronal cell bodies and their processes, consistent with the typical expression of synaptic proteins. Reduced density of AP180 immunoreactive puncta was seen throughout all layers of the superior frontal gyrus in Alzheimer's disease, but the loss of AP180 immunoreactivity was not as prominent in the cerebellum. This regional difference is in agreement with our previous results from immunoblot analyses. In the hippocampus, cell body AP180 immunoreactivity normally seen in the hilus and the CA3 regions of control brains was completely lost in Alzheimer's disease. In addition, AP180 immunoreactivity in the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus showed several changes in Alzheimer's disease. These appeared to be expansion of the inner molecular layer and relative changes in immunoreactivity that resulted in clearer delineation of the inner and outer molecular layers.These results provide anatomical and spatial information on AP180 expression in Alzheimer's disease brains. The variations in altered AP180 immunoreactivity in different brain regions of Alzheimer's disease may underlie the dysfunction of the corresponding synapses. Copyright (C) 1999 IBRO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-394
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • AP180
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Clathrin assembly protein
  • Immunohistochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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