|Hyperphosphorylated Tau in an α-synuclein-overexpressing transgenic model of Parkinson's disease. |
Haggerty, T; Credle, J; Rodriguez, O; Wills, J; Oaks, AW; Masliah, E; Sidhu, A
The European journal of neuroscience
Although clinically distinct diseases, tauopathies and synucleinopathies share a common genesis and mechanisms, leading to overlapping degenerative changes within neurons. In human postmortem striatum of Parkinson's disease (PD) and PD with dementia, we have recently described elevated levels of tauopathy, indexed as increased hyperphosphorylated Tau (p-Tau). Here we assessed tauopathy in striatum of a transgenic animal model of PD, overexpressing human α-synuclein under the platelet-derived growth factor promoter. At 11 months of age, large and progressive increases in p-Tau in transgenic mice, hyperphosphorylated at sites reminiscent of Alzheimer's disease, were noted, along with elevated levels of α-synuclein and glycogen synthase kinase 3β phosphorylated at Tyr216 (p-GSK-3β), a major kinase involved in the hyperphosphorylation of Tau. Differential Triton X-100 extraction of striata showed the presence of aggregated α-synuclein in the transgenic mice, along with p-Tau and p-GSK-3β, which was also confirmed through immunohistochemistry. After p-Tau formation, both Tau and microtubule-associated protein 1 (MAP1) dissociated from the cytoskeleton, consistent with the diminished ability of these cytoskeleton-binding proteins to bind microtubules. Increases in free tubulin and actin were also noted, indicative of cytoskeleton remodeling and destabilization. In vivo magnetic resonance imaging of the transgenic animals showed a reduction in brain volume of transgenic mice, indicating substantial atrophy. From immunohistochemical studies, α-synuclein, p-Tau and p-GSK-3β were found to be overexpressed and co-localized in large inclusion bodies, reminiscent of Lewy bodies. The elevated state of tauopathy seen in these platelet-derived growth factor-α-synuclein mice provides further confirmation that PD may be a tauopathic disease.
|Tauopathic changes in the striatum of A53T α-synuclein mutant mouse model of Parkinson's disease. |
Wills, J; Credle, J; Haggerty, T; Lee, JH; Oaks, AW; Sidhu, A
Tauopathic pathways lead to degenerative changes in Alzheimer's disease and there is evidence that they are also involved in the neurodegenerative pathology of Parkinson's disease [PD]. We have examined tauopathic changes in striatum of the α-synuclein (α-Syn) A53T mutant mouse. Elevated levels of α-Syn were observed in striatum of the adult A53T α-Syn mice. This was accompanied by increases in hyperphosphorylated Tau [p-Tau], phosphorylated at Ser202, Ser262 and Ser396/404, which are the same toxic sites also seen in Alzheimer's disease. There was an increase in active p-GSK-3β, hyperphosphorylated at Tyr216, a major and primary kinase known to phosphorylate Tau at multiple sites. The sites of hyperphosphorylation of Tau in the A53T mutant mice were similar to those seen in post-mortem striata from PD patients, attesting to their pathophysiological relevance. Increases in p-Tau were not due to alterations on protein phosphatases in either A53T mice or in human PD, suggesting lack of involvement of these proteins in tauopathy. Extraction of striata with Triton X-100 showed large increases in oligomeric forms of α-Syn suggesting that α-Syn had formed aggregates the mutant mice. In addition, increased levels of p-GSK-3β and pSer396/404 were also found associated with aggregated α-Syn. Differential solubilization to measure protein binding to cytoskeletal proteins demonstrated that p-Tau in the A53T mutant mouse were unbound to cytoskeletal proteins, consistent with dissociation of p-Tau from the microtubules upon hyperphosphorylation. Interestingly, α-Syn remained tightly bound to the cytoskeleton, while p-GSK-3β was seen in the cytoskeleton-free fractions. Immunohistochemical studies showed that α-Syn, pSer396/404 Tau and p-GSK-3β co-localized with one another and was aggregated and accumulated into large inclusion bodies, leading to cell death of Substantia nigral neurons. Together, these data demonstrate an elevated state of tauopathy in striata of the A53T α-Syn mutant mice, suggesting that tauopathy is a common feature of synucleinopathies.Full Text Article
|Selective and persistent activation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase by nitric oxide in glial cells induces neuronal degeneration in glutathione-depleted midbrain cultures. |
Canals, Santiago, et al.
Mol. Cell. Neurosci., 24: 1012-26 (2003)
Intracellular glutathione (GSH) levels determine whether nitric oxide (NO) is neurotrophic for dopamine neurons or triggers a cell death cascade in primary midbrain cultures. We have investigated herein the role of the extracellular-signal regulated protein kinase (ERK) 1/2 pathway in this GSH switching effect. The short-lived NO donor DEA/NO induces a transient activation of ERK-1/2 that totally disappears 2 h after NO administration. The depletion of GSH increases and the supplementation of GSH suppresses ERK-1/2 activation in response to NO treatment. More interestingly, GSH depletion changes the kinetic of phosphorylation leading to a second prolonged phase of ERK-1/2 activation from 2 to 16 h after NO addition. This change of kinetic is ultimately responsible for NO toxicity under GSH-depleted conditions, because selective blockade of the second and persistent phase of activation prevents cell death. In addition, the only transient ERK activation, induced by NO under normal GSH conditions, did not cause ERK-dependent cell death. Immunocytochemical colocalization studies demonstrate that ERK activation takes place exclusively in glial cells, mainly in astrocytes and less frequently in oligodendrocytes and glial progenitors. Furthermore, glial cell elimination or inactivation in the culture, by gliotoxic drugs, abrogates NO-induced ERK activation. Our results indicate that neurotrophism of NO switches into neurotoxicity after GSH depletion due to persistent activation of the ERK-1/2 signaling pathway in glial cells. The implication of these results in pathological conditions like Parkinson's disease, where GSH depletion and NO overproduction have been documented, are discussed.
|Neural crest stem cells persist in the adult gut but undergo changes in self-renewal, neuronal subtype potential, and factor responsiveness. |
Kruger, Genevieve M, et al.
Neuron, 35: 657-69 (2002)
We found neural crest stem cells (NCSCs) in the adult gut. Postnatal gut NCSCs were isolated by flow-cytometry and compared to fetal gut NCSCs. They self-renewed extensively in culture but less than fetal gut NCSCs. Postnatal gut NCSCs made neurons that expressed a variety of neurotransmitters but lost the ability to make certain subtypes of neurons that are generated during fetal development. Postnatal gut NCSCs also differed in their responsiveness to lineage determination factors, affecting cell fate determination in vivo and possibly explaining their reduced neuronal subtype potential. These perinatal changes in gut NCSCs parallel perinatal changes in hematopoietic stem cells, suggesting that stem cells in different tissues undergo similar developmental transitions. The persistence of NCSCs in the adult PNS opens up new possibilities for regeneration after injury or disease.