Mitochondrial ferritin (FtMt) is an endogenous iron-storage protein localized in the mitochondria. FtMt is mainly observed in restricted tissues, such as those in the testis, islets of Langerhans, and brain. Further, it may protect cells from oxidative stress in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and progressive supranuclear palsy. However, the role of FtMt in Parkinson’s disease (PD) remains unclear. Therefore, the current study investigated the localization and expression level of FtMt in the midbrain of patients with PD and healthy controls using immunohistochemical techniques. FtMt immunoreactivity was mainly detected in dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) in both healthy controls and patients with PD. In addition, FtMt-positive particles were observed outside the dopaminergic neurons in patients with PD. Based on a quantitative comparison, patients with PD had a significantly upregulated FtMt immunoreactivity in dopaminergic neurons than healthy controls. Our result might be helpful in future studies on the role of FtMt in PD.
SARS-CoV-2 infects a variety of tissues, including the oral cavity. However, there are few reports examining the association of SARS-CoV-2 with tongue mucosal tissues with sticky tongue debris. This study investigated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 and its associated molecules by dissecting tongue tissue from autopsy specimens of 23 patients who died of COVID-19-related illness (pneumonia). Immunohistochemical staining, electron microscopy, and PCR analysis were performed on the tongue tissue specimens. The mucosal epithelium of the tongue formed a very thick keratinized with well-developed filiform papillae in all cases. ACE2 and TMPRSS2 were consistently co-expressed in all samples in the epithelium. The S-protein was strongly expressed in basal cells and the epithelial surface. S-protein-positive viral particles were detected in the tongue’s stratified squamous epithelium via an immunoelectron microscope. Based on PCR amplification of the N1 and N2 regions, the SARS-CoV-2 gene was detected on the tongue epithelium, tongue submucosa, and in tongue debris. This suggests that tongue debris, including the squamous epithelial tissue, could be a source of SARS-CoV-2 in saliva. Furthermore, removing tongue debris may decrease the amount of SARS-CoV-2 in the oral cavity.