Aluminum, calcium, and iron in the spinal cord of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using laser microprobe mass spectroscopy: a preliminary study

Edward J. Kasarskis, Lav Tandon, Mark A. Lovell, William D. Ehmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations

Abstract

We measured aluminum (Al), calcium (Ca), and iron (Fe) levels in neuronal cytoplasm and nucleus, capillaries, and neuropil in samples of ventral cervical spinal cord from 5 patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 5 age-matched controls using laser microprobe mass spectrometry (LMMS). The concentration of Al was not altered in any area in the ALS samples. In contrast, Fe and Ca were increased 1.5-2-fold in the nucleus and cytoplasm of ALS neurons but not in capillaries and neuropil. These findings do not support the hypothesis that Al is enriched in spinal cord of sporadic ALS as has been reported for Guamanian ALS/Parkinson's dementia. The elevations of Fe in spinal neurons are consistent with reports of increased Fe in bulk samples of ALS spinal cord. The presence of increased Fe within spinal neurons may be significant in the pathogenesis of motor neuron degeneration by catalyzing the generation of reactive oxygen species within specific cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-208
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Volume130
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by NIH grant NS 25165. The authors express their appreciation to Ms. Carol Richey, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging for her technical expertise in sample preparation for LMMS, to Dr. Richard J. Kryscio, Department of Statistics for his assistance with the statistical analysis of the data, and to Dr. William R. Markesbery for his comments and encouragement.

Keywords

  • ALS
  • Aluminum
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Motor neuron disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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