Assessment of a-synuclein pathology: A study of the BrainNet Europe consortium

Irina Alafuzoff, Laura Parkkinen, Safa Al-Sarraj, Thomas Arzberger, Jeanne Bell, Istvan Bodi, Nenad Bogdanovic, Herbert Budka, Isidro Ferrer, Ellen Gelpi, Stephen Gentleman, Giorgio Giaccone, Wouter Kamphorst, Andrew King, Penelope Korkolopoulou, Gábor G. Kovács, Sergey Larionov, David Meyronet, Camelia Monoranu, Jodie MorrisPiero Parchi, Efstratios Patsouris, Wolfgang Roggendorf, Danielle Seilhean, Nathalie Streichenberger, Dietmar R. Thal, Hans Kretzschmar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To determine the reliability of assessment of a-synucleinimmunoreactive (aS-IR) structures by neuropathologists, 28 evaluators from 17 centers of BrainNet Europe examined current methods and reproducibility of aS-IR evaluation using a tissue microarray (TMA) technique. Tissue microarray blocks were constructed of samples from the participating centers that contained aS-IR structures. Slides from these blocks were stained in each center and assessed for neuronal perikaryal inclusions, neurites, and glial cytoplasmic inclusions. The study was performed in 2 phases. First, the TMA slides were stained with the antibody of the center's choice. In this phase, 59% of the sections were of good or acceptable quality, and 4 of 9 antibodies used performed consistently. Differences in interpretation and categorization of aS-IR structures, however, led to differing results between the laboratories. Prior to the second phase, the neuropathologists participated in a training session on the evaluation of aS-IR structures. Based on the results of the first phase, selected antibodies using designated antigen retrieval methods were then applied to TMA slides in the second phase. When the designated methods of both staining and evaluation were applied, all 26 subsequently stained TMA sections evaluated were of good/acceptable quality, and a high level of concordance in the assessment of the presence or absence of specific aS-IR structures was achieved. A semiquantitative assessment of aS-IR neuronal perikaryal inclusions yielded agreements ranging from 49% to 82%, with best concordance in cortical core samples. These results suggest that rigorous methodology and dichotomized assessment (i.e. determining the presence or absence of aS-IR) should be applied, and that semiquantitative assessment can be recommended only for the cortical samples. Moreover, the study demonstrates that there are limitations in the scoring of aS-IR structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-143
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


  • A-synuclein
  • BrainNet Europe
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interrater reliability
  • Tissue microarray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience(all)


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