|Long-term consequences of human alpha-synuclein overexpression in the primate ventral midbrain. |
Eslamboli, A; Romero-Ramos, M; Burger, C; Bjorklund, T; Muzyczka, N; Mandel, RJ; Baker, H; Ridley, RM; Kirik, D
Brain : a journal of neurology
Overexpression of human alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn) using recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors provides a novel tool to study neurodegenerative processes seen in Parkinson's disease and other synucleinopathies. We used a pseudotyped rAAV2/5 vector to express human wild-type (wt) alpha-syn, A53T mutated alpha-syn, or the green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the primate ventral midbrain. Twenty-four adult common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) were followed with regular behavioural tests for 1 year after transduction. alpha-Syn overexpression affected motor behaviour such that all animals remained asymptomatic for at least 9 weeks, then motor bias comprising head position bias and full body rotations were seen in wt-alpha-syn expressing animals between 15 and 27 weeks; in the later phase, the animals overexpressing the A53T alpha -syn, in particular, showed a gradual worsening of motor performance, with increased motor coordination errors. Histological analysis from animals overexpressing either the wt or A53T alpha -syn showed prominent degeneration of dopaminergic fibres in the striatum. In the ventral midbrain, however, the dopaminergic neurodegeneration was more prominent in the A53T group than in the WT group suggesting differential toxicity of these two proteins in the primate brain. The surviving cell bodies and their processes in the substantia nigra were stained by antibodies to the pathological form of alpha-syn that is phosphorylated at Ser position 129. Moreover, we found, for the first time, ubiquitin containing aggregates after overexpression of alpha-syn in the primate midbrain. There was also a variable loss of oligodendroglial cells in the cerebral peduncle. These histological and behavioural data suggest that this model provides unique opportunities to study progressive neurodegeneration in the dopaminergic system and deposition of alpha-syn and ubiquitin similar to that seen in Parkinson's disease, and to test novel therapeutic targets for neuroprotective strategies.
|Aggresome-related biogenesis of Lewy bodies. |
Kevin St P McNaught, P Shashidharan, Daniel P Perl, Peter Jenner, C Warren Olanow
The European journal of neuroscience
Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD) and 'dementia with Lewy bodies' (DLB) are characterized pathologically by selective neuronal death and the appearance of intracytoplasmic protein aggregates (Lewy bodies). The process by which these inclusions are formed and their role in the neurodegenerative process remain elusive. In this study, we demonstrate a close relationship between Lewy bodies and aggresomes, which are cytoplasmic inclusions formed at the centrosome as a cytoprotective response to sequester and degrade excess levels of potentially toxic abnormal proteins within cells. We show that the centrosome/aggresome-related proteins gamma-tubulin and pericentrin display an aggresome-like distribution in Lewy bodies in PD and DLB. Lewy bodies also sequester the ubiquitin-activating enzyme (E1), the proteasome activators PA700 and PA28, and HSP70, all of which are recruited to aggresomes for enhanced proteolysis. Using novel antibodies that are specific and highly sensitive to ubiquitin-protein conjugates, we revealed the presence of numerous discrete ubiquitinated protein aggregates in neuronal soma and processes in PD and DLB. These aggregates appear to be being transported from peripheral sites to the centrosome where they are sequestered to form Lewy bodies in neurons. Finally, we have shown that inhibition of proteasomal function or generation of misfolded proteins cause the formation of aggresome/Lewy body-like inclusions and cytotoxicity in dopaminergic neurons in culture. These observations suggest that Lewy body formation may be an aggresome-related event in response to increasing levels of abnormal proteins in neurons. This phenomenon is consistent with growing evidence that altered protein handling underlies the etiopathogenesis of PD and related disorders.
|Kinetic stabilization of the alpha-synuclein protofibril by a dopamine-alpha-synuclein adduct. |
K A Conway, J C Rochet, R M Bieganski, P T Lansbury
Science (New York, N.Y.)
The substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease (PD) is depleted of dopaminergic neurons and contains fibrillar Lewy bodies comprising primarily alpha-synuclein. We screened a library to identify drug-like molecules to probe the relation between neurodegeneration and alpha-synuclein fibrilization. All but one of 15 fibril inhibitors were catecholamines related to dopamine. The inhibitory activity of dopamine depended on its oxidative ligation to alpha-synuclein and was selective for the protofibril-to-fibril conversion, causing accumulation of the alpha-synuclein protofibril. Adduct formation provides an explanation for the dopaminergic selectivity of alpha-synuclein-associated neurotoxicity in PD and has implications for current and future PD therapeutic and diagnostic strategies.