Immunohistochemical examination on intracranial calcification in neurodegenerative diseases

Daisuke Fujita, Seishi Terada, Hideki Ishizu, Osamu Yokota, Hanae Nakashima, Takeshi Ishihara, Shigetoshi Kuroda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Fahr-type calcification is a relatively common finding in the elderly, and in younger patients with Alzheimer's disease, calcification in the basal ganglia is not uncommon. However, as far as we know, an immunohistochemical study of intracranial calcification in neurodegenerative diseases has not been performed. In this study, we examined intracranial calcification of the basal ganglia and cerebellum with antibodies against noncollagenous bone matrix proteins. Nineteen brains were employed. The diagnoses were diffuse neurofibrillary tangles with calcification in five, Alzheimer's disease in five, Pick's disease in one, progressive supranuclear palsy in one, Parkinson's disease in one, and six controls. By conventional histology, three patterns of calcium (Ca) deposition were recognized: diffuse deposition within the tunica media of small and medium-sized vessels (type 1 deposition), free spherical or lobulated concretions (type 2 deposition) in the parenchyma, and rows of small calcospherites lying along capillaries (type 3 deposition). Type 3 deposition is relatively rare, and may be a hallmark of severe intracranial calcification. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that osteopontin was present diffusely in all Ca deposition types. Osteocalcin was present chiefly in the peripheral region of type 2 and 3 depositions, as well as in only the rims of type 1 deposition. Bone sialoprotein and osteonectin were found only in the core portions of type 2 and 3 depositions. In brief, type 1 deposition shows a different staining pattern from type 2 and 3. Different Ca deposition patterns of noncollagenous bone matrix proteins may suggest their separate roles in the pathogenesis of intracranial calcification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
JournalActa neuropathologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2003


  • Bone sialoprotein
  • Intracranial calcification
  • Osteocalcin
  • Osteonectin
  • Osteopontin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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