Alzheimer-like pathology in the parietal cortex and hippocampus of aged donkeys

Alexandra Malbon, Lorena Sordo Sordo, Liam Wilson, Danielle Gunn-Moore, Georgios Paraschou, Neil Macintyre, Tobias Schwarz, Bruce McGorum, Caroline Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Neurodegenerative disorders are gaining ever more importance in ageing populations of animals and people. Altered insulin signaling and type II diabetes have been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in humans and AD-like neurodegeneration in other long-lived animals. Donkeys are unusual amongst domestic species for their exceptional longevity and are additionally predisposed to abnormalities of insulin metabolism similar to those found in humans. In this study, the parietal lobe and hippocampus of 13 aged (> 30 years) and two younger control donkeys were evaluated immunohistologically for the presence, distribution, and frequency of neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) and amyloid plaques (AP); the characteristic lesions of AD. AP were in parietal cortices of nine donkeys, with a predilection for deep sulci, and NFT-like structures were observed in seven donkeys, primarily within cortical areas. No changes were observed in the control donkeys. This represents the first identification of both AP and NFT in equids and is a stimulus for future work assessing their metabolic status in parallel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Early online date4 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Donkey
  • Amyloid Plaques
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Alzheimer’s


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