NADPH-dNicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate Diaphorase Histochemistry Technique
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In healthy brains, NADPH-d neurons located at the front of the cortex and in the temporal lobe (in and near the hippocampus, which helps direct memory and learning) cluster in tissue containing the remains of the subplate, a thin layer of cells at the junction of the cortex and deeper brain tissue.
NADPH-d neurons congregate in deeper, noncortical tissue and become sparse in the former subplate regions, indicating the loss occurred during fetal development.
(A group at the University of Maryland in Baltimore had first suggested that quinolinic acid might be the agent.) The Harvard group speculated in the May 8 NATURE that the NADPH-d neurons survive in Huntington's because the enzyme enables them to degrade quinolinic acid.