Hirano body

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Hirano bodies are intracellular aggregates of actin and actin-associated proteins first observed in neurons (nerve cells) by Asao Hirano in 1965.[1]

Hirano bodies are found in the nerve cells of individuals afflicted with certain neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease.[2]

Hirano bodies are often described as rod-shaped, crystal-like, and eosinophilic (pink after staining with haematoxylin and eosin). They are frequently seen in hippocampal pyramidal cells.[3] An experimental model of Hirano body formation has been reported, using a genetically altered strain of the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum.[4]

Hirano bodies have been noted as a function of age without obvious underlying neurodegeration.[5]


  1. ^ University of Edinburgh, Hirano bodies, citing Hirano, Asao. (1965) "Pathology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis," in Slow Latent and Temperate Virus Infections, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness (NINDB) monograph No.2, pp. 23-37.
  2. ^ Cartier, L, Galvez, S. and Gajdusek, D.C. (1985). "Familial clustering of the ataxic form of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease with Hirano bodies," J.Neurol.Neurosurg.Psychiatry 48(3), pp. 234-238.
  3. ^ Ramzi Cotran; Vinay Kumar; Tucker Collins (1999). Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease, Sixth Edition. W.B. Saunders. ISBN 0-7216-7335-X. 
  4. ^ Maselli, A. G., Davis, R., Furukawa, R. and Fechheimer, M. (2002)."Formation of Hirano bodies in Dictyostelium and mammalian cells induces by expression of a modified form of an actin-crosslinking protein," J.Cell Sci. 115, 1939-1952.
  5. ^ Gibson, P. H. and Tomlinson, B. E. (1977). "Numbers of Hirano bodies in the hippocampus of normal and demented people with Alzheimer's disease," J.Neurol.Sci. 33, 199-206.


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