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Neurofilaments can be defined as the intermediate or 10nm filaments found in specifically in neuronal cells. In the electron microscope neurofilaments appears as 10nm diameter fibres of indeterminate length which generally have fine wispy protrusions from their sides. They are found particularly abundantly in axons of large projection neurons. Antibodies to the various neurofilament subunits are very useful cell type markers since the proteins are among the most abundant of the nervous system, are expressed only in neurons, and are biochemically very stable.
Some studies have shown that levels of neurofilament heavy and neurofilament light are elevated in patients with Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal lobe dementia, and vascular dementia.
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- Yiting Liu, Katherine S. Given, Danielle E. Harlow, Adeline M. Matschulat, Wendy B. Macklin, Jeffrey L. Bennett and Gregory P. Owens. (2017). Myelin-specific multiple sclerosis antibodies cause complement-dependent oligodendrocyte loss and demyelination. Acta Neuropathologica Communications Neuroscience of Disease, 20175:25, doi: 10.1186/s40478-017-0428-6
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