Microglia are not exclusively associated with plaque-rich regions of the dentate gyrus in Alzheimer's disease

Matthew T. Roe, Deborah V. Dawson, Christine M. Hulette, Gillian Einstein, Barbara J. Grain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The functional significance of microglia found in neuritic plaques in Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains a source of controversy. In the present study, we explored the anatomic relationships between microglia and neuritic plaques in order to determine the potential role of microglia in plaque formation. We chose to study the molecular layer of the hippocampal dentate gyrus, a brain region where plaques have a strong tendency to line up parallel to the adjacent granule cell layer. We found that ferritin-labeled microglia were indeed most numerous in the same distinct band as plaques, but that microglia were relatively more common in the outer molecular layer. The distribution of microglia was more variable than that of plaques. Overall, microglial cell distribution was a relatively poor predictor of plaque distribution, particularly when cases were considered individually. Thus, there must be multiple triggers for microglial cell activation and accumulation in the AD brain, triggers which do not all necessarily lead to neuritic plaque formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-371
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of neuropathology and experimental neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1996


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dentate gyrus
  • Microglia
  • Plaques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Microglia are not exclusively associated with plaque-rich regions of the dentate gyrus in Alzheimer's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this