Argyrophilic ubiquitinated cytoplasmic inclusions of Leu-7-positive glial cells in olivopontocerebellar atrophy (multiple system atrophy)

S. Kato, H. Nakamura, A. Hirano, H. Ito, J. F. Llena, S. H. Yen

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76 Scopus citations


We described cytoplasmic inclusions in glial cells in 18 patients with olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA) (multiple system atrophy, MSA). These glial inclusions showed intense argyrophilia with modified Bielschowsky's and Bodian's silver impregnation techniques, and were observed in the pons, cerebellar white matter, midbrain, medulla oblongata and basal ganglia, as well as cerebral white matter and spinal cord. None of the 54 control cases had glial argyrophilic inclusions. Immunohistochemically, these inclusions were intensely labeled by anti-ubiquitin antibody. Some of them reacted with an antibody to Rosenthal fiber (RF) protein. The cytoplasm of ubiquitinated inclusion-bearing glial cells was immunostained by anti-Leu-7 antibody, but not by anti-GFAP antibody. Ultrastructurally, the glial inclusions were composed primarily of approximately 24- to 40-nm fibrils, which were coated with osmiophilic granular material along their length in longitudinal section. These fibrils appeared as annuli in cross section. Often, a central granule approximately 5 nm in diameter was seen in the lucent lumen of a cross-sectioned fibril. The granule-coated fibrils were not seen in the glial filament-containing astrocytes. Electron microscopic examination of silver-impregnated specimens revealed that the granule-coated fibrils had strong affinity for silver. Immunoelectron microscopy using the indirect immunoperoxidase techniques with antibodies to ubiquitin and RF protein revealed that the electron-dense reaction products respective to both were located on constituents of glial inclusions. Our observation that Leu-7-positive glial cells, mainly oligodendroglial cells, had argyrophilic ubiquitinated inclusions may be of significance for the evaluation of the pathology of OPCA(MSA).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-493
Number of pages6
JournalActa neuropathologica
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1991


  • Argyrophilic inclusion
  • Leu-7
  • Oligodendroglia
  • Olivopontocerebellar atrophy
  • Ubiquitin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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