Regional changes in [3H]D-aspartate and [3H]TCP binding sites in Alzheimer's disease brains

David Simpson, M.C. Royston, J F Deakin, A J Cross, D M Mann, P Slater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The specific binding of [3H]D-aspartate, a marker for the presynaptic glutamate uptake site, and [3H]N-(1-[2-Thienyl]cyclohexyl)-piperidine [( 3H]TCP), a high affinity ligand for the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-associated phencyclidine binding site, was measured in homogenates of brain from normal subjects and from subjects with neuropathologically confirmed Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease was associated with a reduction in [3H]D-aspartate binding density in temporal cortex and caudate nucleus. By contrast, a reduction in the receptor density for [3H]TCP binding was only recorded in the frontal cortex. Thus, glutamate-containing nerve terminals are severely reduced in Alzheimer's disease, whilst the postsynaptic NMDA-phencyclidine receptor complex is much less affected. These findings have implications for theories of glutamate neurotoxicity in Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 1988


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Aspartic Acid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phencyclidine
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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