In the neocortices and amygdalae of young and aged macaques, cholinergic axons were identified by means of a monoclonal antibody to bovine choline acetyltransferase. Many fine, linear, immunoreactive profiles were seen in these animals. In the older animals, some cholinergic axons showed multifocal enlargements along their course. In some instances, neurites with choline acetyltransferase immunoreactivity were associated with deposits of amyloid (visualized with thioflavin T fluorescence). The appearance of these amyloid-associated abnormal cholinergic processes was similar to that of neurites in senile plaques, as shown by conventional silver impregnation techniques. Cholinergic systems thus give rise to some of the neurites within senile plaques.

Stay Connected to Science