Calbindin-D28kis a calcium-binding protein that protects nerve cells from degeneration. It is located in the midbrain dopaminergic neurons that are relatively invulnerable to degeneration in Parkinson’s disease. Because the hypothalamic dopaminergic neurons do not degenerate in Parkinson’s disease, the present study sought to determine whether these neurons also contain calbindin-D28k. Using immunocytochemical staining with antibodies against calbindin-D28kand tyrosine hydroxylase, and computer imaging techniques, the distributions of calbindin-D28kand tyrosine hydroxylase-containing neurons were mapped. Both neuronal populations were present throughout the rostral-caudal extent of the hypothalamus. However, only in the periventricular region, at the preoptic and anterior hypothalamic levels, was there an overlap in the two cellular distributions. Using the presence of neuromelanin pigment as a marker for dopaminergic neurons, approximately 30% of the dopaminergic neurons contain calbindin-D28kin the periventricular region. These data indicate that a sub-population of hypothalamic dopaminergic neurons contain calbindin-D28k. This finding is discussed in terms of why hypothalamic dopaminergic neurons are resistant to degeneration in Parkinson’s disease.
- Calcium-binding protein
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Clinical Neurology