Immunocytochemical studies, using a polyclonal antibody directed against tyrosine hydroxylase, identified catecholaminergic axons in prefrontal cortex of young and aged nonhuman primates. Aged monkeys, who showed cortical senile plaques in silver stains, had swollen tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive axons in neocortex. Some of these abnormal processes were associated with deposits of amyloid (visualized by thioflavin-T fluorescence) and were similar in appearance to neurites demonstrated by silver impregnation methods. This study provides evidence for structural abnormalities in catecholaminergic axons/nerve terminals in the neocortices of aged primates.
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