Neuronal binucleation in Alzheimer disease hippocampus

X. Zhu, S. L. Siedlak, Y. Wang, G. Perry, R. J. Castellana, M. L. Cohen, M. A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Aims: The literature and teachings instruct that neurones in the adult brain are fully differentiated, quiescent cells that never divide. Somewhat surprisingly, and counter to such dogma, susceptible neurones in Alzheimer disease display an activated cell cycle phenotype. However, whether this leads to a coordinated procession through the cell cycle is unclear, particularly whether neurones enter anaphase and beyond. To begin to address this issue, in this study we sought to determine whether nuclear division occurs in these neurones. Methods: We examined a series of 101 archived, routinely stained hippocampal sections collected at post mortem for neuropathological evaluation for evidence of neuronal binucleation. Results: We report for the first time, binucleated neurones within the hippocampus in cases of Alzheimer disease but not in control cases (P < 0.05). Conclusions: While a relatively rare event, occurring once every 20 000 neurones, this morphological evidence that neuronal cells within the cortical regions of the adult human brain in Alzheimer disease contain two nuclei supports the hypothesis that neuronal cells can re-enter into a coordinated cell cycle that culminates in nuclear division.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-465
Number of pages9
JournalNeuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Binucleation
  • Cell cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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