Immunocytochemical evaluations of the neocortex of three classical Rett syndrome (RS) individuals revealed a selective abnormality in the expression of microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2). MAP-2 immunoreactivity (ir) was reduced throughout the neocortex of all three RS cases with a reversal of the normal pattern of more intense staining in deep cortical layers. This anomaly was selective for MAP-2 because nonphosphorylated neurofilament (SMI-32) labeling of deep pyramidal neurons and calbindin (CaBP)-stained GABAergic cells remained unchanged. Moreover, MAP-2 ir was virtually undetected in white matter while GABAergic and, particularly, peptidergic (neuropeptide Y:NPY) profiles were easily recognized. These results demonstrate a marked disruption of a major cytoskeletal component in neocortex in RS which seems to affect, predominantly pyramidal projection and white matter neurons. MAP-2 expression appears early in neuronal maturation of the neocortex, particularly in the subplate region, the future superficial white matter, suggesting that these reported abnormalities in RS represent a developmental disturbance. Considering that MAP-2 expression is regulated by several neurotransmitter systems in adult cerebral cortex, particularly dopaminergic and cholinergic afferents that are deficient in RS, these neurochemical alterations could be related to this anomalous MAP-2 expression.
- Cerebral cortex
- Rett syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology