Neuropathological comorbidity associated with argyrophilic grain disease

Osamu Yokota, Tomoko Miki, Chikako Ikeda, Shigeto Nagao, Shintaro Takenoshita, Hideki Ishizu, Takashi Haraguchi, Shigetoshi Kuroda, Seishi Terada, Norihito Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Argyrophilic grain disease (AGD) is a common four-repeat tauopathy in elderly people. While dementia is a major clinical picture of AGD, recent studies support the possibility that AGD may be a pathological base in some patients with mild cognitive impairment, late-onset psychosis, bipolar disorder and depression. AGD often coexists with various other degenerative changes. The frequency of AGD in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) cases was reported to range from 18.8% to 80%. The frequency of AGD in corticobasal degeneration (CBD) cases tends to be higher than that in PSP cases, ranging from 41.2% to 100%. Conversely, in our previous study of the frequencies of mild PSP and CBD pathologies in AGD cases, five of 20 AGD cases (25%) had a few Gallyas-positive tufted astrocytes, six cases (30%) had a few granular/fuzzy astrocytes, and one case (5.0%) had a few Gallyas-positive astrocytic plaques in the putamen, caudate nucleus and/or superior frontal gyrus. Both Gallyas-positive tufted astrocytes and Gallyas-negative tau-positive granular/fuzzy astrocytes preferentially developed in the putamen, caudate nucleus and superior frontal cortex in AGD cases, being consistent with the predilection sites of Gallyas-positive tufted astrocytes in PSP cases. Further, in AGD cases, the quantities of Gallyas-positive tufted astrocytes, overall tau-positive astrocytes, and tau-positive neurons in the subcortical nuclei and superior frontal cortex were significantly correlated with Saito AGD stage, respectively. The frequency of AGD in AD cases was reported to reach up to 25% when using four-repeat tau immunohistochemistry. Pretangles are essential pathologies in AGD; however, the Braak stage of three-repeat tau-positive NFTs, which may indicate mild AD pathology or primary age-related tauopathy, was not correlated with Saito AGD stage. Clinicians should be aware of the possibility that coexisting AGD may impact clinical and radiological features in cases of other degenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-97
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018


  • argyrophilic grains
  • four repeat tau
  • granular/fuzzy astrocytes
  • progressive supranuclear palsy
  • tufted astrocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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