Browsing by Subject "ALPHA-SYNUCLEIN"

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  • Kun-Rodrigues, Celia; Orme, Tatiana; Carmona, Susana; Hernandez, Dena G.; Ross, Owen A.; Eicher, John D.; Shepherd, Claire; Parkkinen, Laura; Darwent, Lee; Heckman, Michael G.; Scholz, Sonja W.; Troncoso, Juan C.; Pletnikova, Olga; Dawson, Ted; Rosenthal, Liana; Ansorge, Olaf; Clarimonm, Jordi; Lleo, Alberto; Morenas-Rodriguez, Estrella; Clark, Lorraine; Honig, Lawrence S.; Marder, Karen; Lemstra, Afina; Rogaeva, Ekaterina; St George-Hyslop, Peter; Londos, Elisabet; Zetterberg, Henrik; Barber, Imelda; Braae, Anne; Brown, Kristelle; Morgan, Kevin; Troakes, Claire; Al-Sarraj, Safa; Lashley, Tammaryn; Holton, Janice; Compta, Yaroslau; Van Deerlin, Vivianna; Serrano, Geidy E.; Beach, Thomas G.; Lesage, Suzanne; Galasko, Douglas; Masliah, Eliezer; Santana, Isabel; Pastor, Pau; Diez-Fairen, Monica; Aguilar, Miquel; Tienari, Pentti J.; Myllykangas, Liisa; Oinas, Minna; Revesz, Tamas; Lees, Andrew; Boeve, Brad F.; Petersen, Ronald C.; Ferman, Tanis J.; Escott-Price, Valentina; Graff-Radford, Neill; Cairns, Nigel J.; Morris, John C.; Pickering-Brown, Stuart; Mann, David; Halliday, Glenda M.; Hardy, John; Trojanowski, John Q.; Dickson, Dennis W.; Singleton, Andrew; Stone, David J.; Guerreiro, Rita; Bras, Jose (2019)
    The role of genetic variability in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is now indisputable; however, data regarding copy number variation (CNV) in this disease has been lacking. Here, we used whole-genome genotyping of 1454 DLB cases and 1525 controls to assess copy number variability. We used 2 algorithms to confidently detect CNVs, performed a case-control association analysis, screened for candidate CNVs previously associated with DLB-related diseases, and performed a candidate gene approach to fully explore the data. We identified 5 CNV regions with a significant genome-wide association to DLB; 2 of these were only present in cases and absent from publicly available databases: one of the regions overlapped LAPTM4B, a known lysosomal protein, whereas the other overlapped the NME1 locus and SPAG9. We also identified DLB cases presenting rare CNVs in genes previously associated with DLB or related neurodegenerative diseases, such as SNCA, APP, and MAPT. To our knowledge, this is the first study reporting genome-wide CNVs in a large DLB cohort. These results provide preliminary evidence for the contribution of CNVs in DLB risk. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Albert, Katrina; Voutilainen, Merja H.; Domanskyi, Andrii; Airavaara, Mikko (2017)
    Gene delivery using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors is a widely used method to transduce neurons in the brain, especially due to its safety, efficacy, and long-lasting expression. In addition, by varying AAV serotype, promotor, and titer, it is possible to affect the cell specificity of expression or the expression levels of the protein of interest. Dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra projecting to the striatum, comprising the nigrostriatal pathway, are involved in movement control and degenerate in Parkinson's disease. AAV-based gene targeting to the projection area of these neurons in the striatum has been studied extensively to induce the production of neurotrophic factors for disease-modifying therapies for Parkinson's disease. Much less emphasis has been put on AAV-based gene therapy targeting dopamine neurons in substantia nigra. We will review the literature related to targeting striatum and/or substantia nigra dopamine neurons using AAVs in order to express neuroprotective and neurorestorative molecules, as well as produce animal disease models of Parkinson's disease. We discuss difficulties in targeting substantia nigra dopamine neurons and their vulnerability to stress in general. Therefore, choosing a proper control for experimental work is not trivial. Since the axons along the nigrostriatal tract are the first to degenerate in Parkinson's disease, the location to deliver the therapy must be carefully considered. We also review studies using AAV--synuclein (-syn) to target substantia nigra dopamine neurons to produce an -syn overexpression disease model in rats. Though these studies are able to produce mild dopamine system degeneration in the striatum and substantia nigra and some behavioural effects, there are studies pointing to the toxicity of AAV-carrying green fluorescent protein (GFP), which is often used as a control. Therefore, we discuss the potential difficulties in overexpressing proteins in general in the substantia nigra.
  • Orme, Tatiana; Hernandez, Dena; Ross, Owen A.; Kun-Rodrigues, Celia; Darwent, Lee; Shepherd, Claire E.; Parkkinen, Laura; Ansorge, Olaf; Clark, Lorraine; Honig, Lawrence S.; Marder, Karen; Lemstra, Afina; Rogaeva, Ekaterina; St. George-Hyslop, Peter; Londos, Elisabet; Zetterberg, Henrik; Morgan, Kevin; Troakes, Claire; Al-Sarraj, Safa; Lashley, Tammaryn; Holton, Janice; Compta, Yaroslau; Van Deerlin, Vivianna; Trojanowski, John Q.; Serrano, Geidy E.; Beach, Thomas G.; Lesage, Suzanne; Galasko, Douglas; Masliah, Eliezer; Santana, Isabel; Pastor, Pau; Tienari, Pentti J.; Myllykangas, Liisa; Oinas, Minna; Revesz, Tamas; Lees, Andrew; Boeve, Brad F.; Petersen, Ronald C.; Ferman, Tanis J.; Escott-Price, Valentina; Graff-Radford, Neill; Cairns, Nigel J.; Morris, John C.; Pickering-Brown, Stuart; Mann, David; Halliday, Glenda; Stone, David J.; Dickson, Dennis W.; Hardy, John; Singleton, Andrew; Guerreiro, Rita; Bras, Jose (2020)
    Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a clinically heterogeneous disorder with a substantial burden on healthcare. Despite this, the genetic basis of the disorder is not well defined and its boundaries with other neurodegenerative diseases are unclear. Here, we performed whole exome sequencing of a cohort of 1118 Caucasian DLB patients, and focused on genes causative of monogenic neurodegenerative diseases. We analyzed variants in 60 genes implicated in DLB, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, frontotemporal dementia, and atypical parkinsonian or dementia disorders, in order to determine their frequency in DLB. We focused on variants that have previously been reported as pathogenic, and also describe variants reported as pathogenic which remain of unknown clinical significance, as well as variants associated with strong risk. Rare missense variants of unknown significance were found in APP, CHCHD2, DCTN1, GRN, MAPT, NOTCH3, SQSTM1, TBK1 and TIA1. Additionally, we identified a pathogenic GRN p.Arg493* mutation, potentially adding to the diversity of phenotypes associated with this mutation. The rarity of previously reported pathogenic mutations in this cohort suggests that the genetic overlap of other neurodegenerative diseases with DLB is not substantial. Since it is now clear that genetics plays a role in DLB, these data suggest that other genetic loci play a role in this disease.
  • Mertsalmi, Tuomas H.; Pekkonen, Eero; Scheperjans, Filip (2020)
    Background Gut microbiota alterations have been found in prodromal and established Parkinson's disease (PD). Antibiotic exposure can have long-term effects on the composition of human intestinal microbiota, but a potential connection between antibiotic exposure and risk of PD has not been studied previously. Objective To evaluate the impact of antibiotic exposure on the risk of PD in a nationwide, register-based, case-control study. Methods We identified all patients who were diagnosed with PD in Finland during the years 1998 to 2014. Information was obtained on individual purchases of orally administered antibiotics during the years 1993 to 2014. We assessed the association between prior antibiotic exposure and PD using conditional logistic regression. Results The study population consisted of 13,976 PD cases and 40,697 controls. The strongest connection with PD risk was found for oral exposure to macrolides and lincosamides (adjusted odds ratio up to 1.416; 95% confidence interval, 1.053-1.904). After correction for multiple comparisons, exposure to antianaerobics and tetracyclines 10 to 15 years before the index date, sulfonamides and trimethoprim 1 to 5 years before the index date, and antifungal medications 1 to 5 years before the index date were positively associated with PD risk. In post hoc analyses, further positive associations were found for broad-spectrum antibiotics. Conclusions Exposure to certain types of oral antibiotics seems to be associated with an elevated risk of PD with a delay that is consistent with the proposed duration of a prodromal period. The pattern of associations supports the hypothesis that effects on gut microbiota could link antibiotics to PD, but further studies are needed to confirm this. (c) 2019 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
  • Leikas, Juuso V.; Kohtala, Samuel; Theilmann, Wiebke; Jalkanen, Aaro J.; Forsberg, Markus M.; Rantamaki, Tomi (2017)
    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder primarily affecting the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system. The link between heightened activity of glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK313) and neurodegenerative processes has encouraged investigation into the potential disease-modifying effects of novel GSK3 beta inhibitors in experimental models of PD. Therefore, the intriguing ability of several anesthetics to readily inhibit GSK3 beta within the cortex and hippocampus led us to investigate the effects of brief isoflurane anesthesia on striatal GSK3 beta signaling in nave rats and in a rat model of early-stage PD. Deep but brief (20-min) isoflurane anesthesia exposure increased the phosphorylation of GSK3 beta at the inhibitory Ser9 residue, and induced phosphorylation of AKT(Thr308) (protein kinase B; negative regulator of GSK3 beta) in the striatum of naive rats and rats with unilateral striatal 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion. The 6-OHDA protocol produced gradual functional deficiency within the nigrostriatal pathway, reflected as a preference for using the limb ipsilateral to the lesioned striatum at 2 weeks post 6-OHDA. Interestingly, such motor impairment was not observed in animals exposed to four consecutive isoflurane treatments (20-min anesthesia every 48 h; treatments started 7 days after 6-OHDA delivery). However, isoflurane had no effect on striatal or nigral tyrosine hydroxylase (a marker of dopaminergic neurons) protein levels. This brief report provides promising results regarding the therapeutic potential and neurobiological mechanisms of anesthetics in experimental models of PD and guides development of novel disease-modifying therapies.
  • Lindholm, Dan; Pham, Dan D.; Cascone, Annunziata; Eriksson, Ove; Wennerberg, Krister; Saarma, Mart (2016)
    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder causing movement disabilities and several non-motor symptoms in afflicted patients. Recent studies in animal models of PD and analyses of brain specimen from PD patients revealed an increase in the level and activity of the non-receptor tyrosine kinase Abelson (c-Abl) in dopaminergic neurons with phosphorylation of protein substrates, such as alpha-synuclein and the E3 ubiquitin ligase, Parkin. Most significantly inhibition of c-Abl kinase activity by small molecular compounds used in the clinic to treat human leukemia have shown promising neuroprotective effects in cell and animal models of PD. This has raised hope that similar beneficial outcome may also be observed in the treatment of PD patients by using c-Abl inhibitors. Here we highlight the background for the current optimism, reviewing c-Abl and its relationship to pathophysiological pathways prevailing in PD, as well as discussing issues related to the pharmacology and safety of current c-Abl inhibitors. Clearly more rigorously controlled and well-designed trials are needed before the c-Abl inhibitors can be used in the neuroclinic to possibly benefit an increasing number of PD patients.
  • Huttunen, Henri J.; Saarma, Mart (2019)
    Neurotrophic factors (NTF) are a subgroup of growth factors that promote survival and differentiation of neurons. Due to their neuroprotective and neurorestorative properties, their therapeutic potential has been tested in various neurodegenerative diseases. Bioavailability of NTFs in the target tissue remains a major challenge for NTF-based therapies. Various intracerebral delivery approaches, both protein and gene transfer-based, have been tested with varying outcomes. Three growth factors, glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), neurturin (NRTN) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB) have been tested in clinical trials in Parkinson?s Disease (PD) during the past 20 years. A new protein can now be added to this list, as cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) has recently entered clinical trials. Despite their misleading names, CDNF, together with its closest relative mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF), form a novel family of unconventional NTF that are both structurally and mechanistically distinct from other growth factors. CDNF and MANF are localized mainly to the lumen of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and their primary function appears to be modulation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway. Prolonged ER stress, via the UPR signaling pathways, contributes to the pathogenesis in a number of chronic degenerative diseases, and is an important target for therapeutic modulation. Intraputamenally administered recombinant human CDNF has shown robust neurorestorative effects in a number of small and large animal models of PD, and had a good safety profile in preclinical toxicology studies. Intermittent monthly bilateral intraputamenal infusions of CDNF are currently being tested in a randomized placebo-controlled phase I?II clinical study in moderately advanced PD patients. Here, we review the history of growth factor-based clinical trials in PD, and discuss how CDNF differs from the previously tested growth factors.
  • Chalazonitis, Alcmène; Li, ZhiShan; Pham, Tuan D.; Chen, Jason; Rao, Meenakshi; Lindholm, Päivi; Saarma, Mart; Lindahl, Maria; Gershon, Michael D. (2020)
    Abstract Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) is expressed in the brain and is neuroprotective. We have previously shown that CDNF is also expressed in the bowel and that its absence leads to degeneration and autophagy in the enteric nervous system (ENS), particularly in the submucosal plexus. We now demonstrate that enteric CDNF immunoreactivity is restricted to neurons (submucosal > myenteric) and is not seen in glia, interstitial cells of Cajal, or smooth muscle. Expression of CDNF, moreover, is essential for the normal development and survival of enteric dopaminergic neurons; thus, expression of the dopaminergic neuronal markers, dopamine, tyrosine hydroxylase, and dopamine transporter are deficient in the ileum of Cdnf -/- mice. The normal age-related decline in proportions of submucosal dopaminergic neurons is exacerbated in Cdnf -/- animals. The defect in Cdnf -/- animals is not dopamine-restricted; proportions of other submucosal neurons (NOS-, GABA-, and CGRP-expressing), are also deficient. The deficits in submucosal neurons are reflected functionally in delayed gastric emptying, slowed colonic motility, and prolonged total gastrointestinal transit. CDNF is expressed selectively in isolated enteric neural crest-derived cells (ENCDC), which also express the dopamine-related transcription factor Foxa2. Addition of CDNF to ENCDC promotes development of dopaminergic neurons; moreover, survival or these neurons becomes CDNF-dependent after exposure to bone morphogenetic protein 4. The effects of neither glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) nor serotonin are additive with CDNF. We suggest that CDNF plays a critical role in development and long-term maintenance of dopaminergic and other sets of submucosal neurons. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  • Lindahl, Maria; Chalazonitis, Alcmene; Palm, Erik; Pakarinen, Emmi; Danilova, Tatiana; Pham, Tuan D.; Setlik, Wanda; Rao, Meenakshi; Voikar, Vootele; Huotari, Jatta; Kopra, Jaakko; Andressoo, Jaan-Olle; Piepponen, Petteri T.; Airavaara, Mikko; Panhelainen, Anne; Gershon, Michael D.; Saarma, Mart (2020)
    Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) is neuroprotective for nigrostriatal dopamine neurons and restores dopaminergic function in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD). To understand the role of CDNF in mammals, we generated CDNF knockout mice (Cdnf(-/-)), which are viable, fertile, and have a normal life-span. Surprisingly, an age-dependent loss of enteric neurons occurs selectively in the submucosal but not in the myenteric plexus. This neuronal loss is a consequence not of increased apoptosis but of neurodegeneration and autophagy. Quantitatively, the neurodegeneration and autophagy found in the submucosal plexus in duodenum, ileum and colon of the Cdnf(-/-) mouse are much greater than in those of Cdnf(+/+) mice. The selective vulnerability of submucosal neurons to the absence of CDNF is reminiscent of the tendency of pathological abnormalities to occur in the submucosal plexus in biopsies of patients with PD. In contrast, the number of substantia nigra dopamine neurons and dopamine and its metabolite concentrations in the striatum are unaltered in Cdnf(-/-) mice; however, there is an age-dependent deficit in the function of the dopamine system in Cdnf(-/-) male mice analyzed. This is observed as D-amphetamine-induced hyperactivity, aberrant dopamine transporter function, and as increased D-amphetamine-induced dopamine release demonstrating that dopaminergic axon terminal function in the striatum of the Cdnf(-/-) mouse brain is altered. The deficiencies of Cdnf(-/-) mice, therefore, are reminiscent of those seen in early stages of Parkinson's disease.
  • Goldsteins, Gundars; Hakosalo, Vili; Jaronen, Merja; Keuters, Meike Hedwig; Lehtonen, Sarka; Koistinaho, Jari (2022)
    A single paragraph of about 200 words maximum. Neurodegenerative diseases (ND), such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, pose a global challenge in the aging population due to the lack of treatments for their cure. Despite various disease-specific clinical symptoms, ND have some fundamental common pathological mechanisms involving oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. The present review focuses on the major causes of central nervous system (CNS) redox homeostasis imbalance comprising mitochondrial dysfunction and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Mitochondrial disturbances, leading to reduced mitochondrial function and elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, are thought to be a major contributor to the pathogenesis of ND. ER dysfunction has been implicated in ND in which protein misfolding evidently causes ER stress. The consequences of ER stress ranges from an increase in ROS production to altered calcium efflux and proinflammatory signaling in glial cells. Both pathological pathways have links to ferroptotic cell death, which has been implicated to play an important role in ND. Pharmacological targeting of these pathological pathways may help alleviate or slow down neurodegeneration.
  • Feleciano, Diogo R.; Juenemann, Katrin; Iburg, Manuel; Bras, Ines C.; Holmberg, Carina; Kirstein, Janine (2019)
    A functional protein quality control machinery is crucial to maintain cellular and organismal physiology. Perturbation in the protein homeostasis network can lead to the formation of misfolded and aggregated proteins that are a hallmark of protein conformational disorders and aging. Protein aggregation is counteracted by the action of chaperones that can resolubilize aggregated proteins. An alternative protein aggregation clearance strategy is the elimination by proteolysis employing the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) or autophagy. Little is known how these three protein aggregate clearance strategies are regulated and coordinated in an organism with the progression of aging or upon expression of disease-associated proteins. To unravel the crosstalk between the protein aggregate clearance options, we investigated how autophagy and the UPS respond to perturbations in protein disaggregation capacity. We found that autophagy is induced as a potential compensatory mechanism, whereas the UPS exhibits reduced capacity upon depletion of disaggregating chaperones in C. elegans and HEK293 cells. The expression of amyloid proteins A beta(3-42) and Q(40) result in an impairment of autophagy as well as the UPS within the same and even across tissues. Our data indicate a tight coordination between the different nodes of the proteostasis network (PN) with the progression of aging and upon imbalances of the capacity of each clearance mechanism.
  • Murros, Kari E.; Huynh, Anh Vy; Takala, Timo M.; Saris, Per E. J. (2021)
    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most prevalent movement disorder known and predominantly affects the elderly. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease wherein alpha-synuclein, a neuronal protein, aggregates to form toxic structures in nerve cells. The cause of Parkinson's disease (PD) remains unknown. Intestinal dysfunction and changes in the gut microbiota, common symptoms of PD, are evidently linked to the pathogenesis of PD. Although a multitude of studies have investigated microbial etiologies of PD, the microbial role in disease progression remains unclear. Here, we show that Gram-negative sulfate-reducing bacteria of the genus Desulfovibrio may play a potential role in the development of PD. Conventional and quantitative real-time PCR analysis of feces from twenty PD patients and twenty healthy controls revealed that all PD patients harbored Desulfovibrio bacteria in their gut microbiota and these bacteria were present at higher levels in PD patients than in healthy controls. Additionally, the concentration of Desulfovibrio species correlated with the severity of PD. Desulfovibrio bacteria produce hydrogen sulfide and lipopolysaccharide, and several strains synthesize magnetite, all of which likely induce the oligomerization and aggregation of alpha-synuclein protein. The substances originating from Desulfovibrio bacteria likely take part in pathogenesis of PD. These findings may open new avenues for the treatment of PD and the identification of people at risk for developing PD.
  • Kovaleva, Vera; Saarma, Mart (2021)
    Parkinson's disease (PD) pathology involves progressive degeneration and death of vulnerable dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra. Extensive axonal arborization and distinct functions make this type of neurons particularly sensitive to homeostatic perturbations, such as protein misfolding and Ca2+ dysregulation. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a cell compartment orchestrating protein synthesis and folding, as well as synthesis of lipids and maintenance of Ca2+ homeostasis in eukaryotic cells. When misfolded proteins start to accumulate in ER lumen the unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated. UPR is an adaptive signaling machinery aimed at relieving of protein folding load in the ER. When UPR is chronic, it can either boost neurodegeneration and apoptosis or cause neuronal dysfunctions. We have recently discovered that mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) exerts its prosurvival action in dopamine neurons and in an animal model of PD through the direct binding to UPR sensor inositol-requiring protein 1 alpha (IRE1) and attenuation of UPR. In line with this, UPR targeting resulted in neuroprotection and neurorestoration in various preclinical animal models of PD. Therefore, growth factors (GFs), possessing both neurorestorative activity and restoration of protein folding capacity are attractive as drug candidates for PD treatment especially their blood-brain barrier penetrating analogs and small molecule mimetics. In this review, we discuss ER stress as a therapeutic target to treat PD; we summarize the existing preclinical data on the regulation of ER stress for PD treatment. In addition, we point out the crucial aspects for successful clinical translation of UPR-regulating GFs and new prospective in GFs-based treatments of PD, focusing on ER stress regulation.
  • Blom, Tea; Schmiedt, Mia-Lisa; Wong, Andrew M.; Kyttälä, Aija; Soronen, Jarkko; Jauhiainen, Matti; Tyynela, Jaana; Cooper, Jonathan D.; Jalanko, Anu (2013)
  • Hyder, Rasha; Mads, Jensen; Højlund, Andreas; Kimppa, Lilli; Bailey, Christopher J.; Schaldemose, Jeppe L.; Kinnerup, Martin B.; Østergaard, Karen; Shtyrov, Yury (2021)
    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder, well-known for its motor symptoms; however, it also adversely affects cognitive functions, including language, a highly important human ability. PD pathology is associated, even in the early stage of the disease, with alterations in the functional connectivity within corticosubcortical circuitry of the basal ganglia as well as within cortical networks. Here, we investigated functional cortical connectivity related to spoken language processing in early-stage PD patients. We employed a patientfriendly passive attention-free paradigm to probe neurophysiological correlates of language processing in PD patients without confounds related to active attention and overt motor responses. MEG data were recorded from a group of newly diagnosed PD patients and age-matched healthy controls who were passively presented with spoken word stimuli (action and abstract verbs, as well as grammatically correct and incorrect inflectional forms) while focussing on watching a silent movie. For each of the examined linguistic aspects, a logistic regression classifier was used to classify participants as either PD patients or healthy controls based on functional connectivity within the temporo-fronto-parietal cortical language networks. Classification was successful for action verbs (accuracy = 0.781, p-value = 0.003) and, with lower accuracy, for abstract verbs (accuracy = 0.688, pvalue = 0.041) and incorrectly inflected forms (accuracy = 0.648, p-value = 0.021), but not for correctly inflected forms (accuracy = 0.523, p-value = 0.384). Our findings point to quantifiable differences in functional connectivity within the cortical systems underpinning language processing in newly diagnosed PD patients compared to healthy controls, which arise early, in the absence of clinical evidence of deficits in cognitive or general language functions. The techniques presented here may aid future work on establishing neurolinguistic markers to objectively and noninvasively identify functional changes in the brain's language networks even before clinical symptoms emerge.
  • Evsyukov, Valentin; Domanskyi, Andrii; Bierhoff, Holger; Gispert, Suzana; Mustafa, Rasem; Schlaudraff, Falk; Liss, Birgit; Parlato, Rosanna (2017)
    Genetic mutations underlying neurodegenerative disorders impair ribosomal DNA (rDNA) transcription suggesting that nucleolar dysfunction could be a novel pathomechanism in polyglutamine diseases and in certain forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/frontotemporal dementia. Here, we investigated nucleolar activity in pre-symptomatic digenic models of Parkinson's disease (PD) that model the multifactorial aetiology of this disease. To this end, we analysed a novel mouse model mildly overexpressing mutant human alpha-synuclein (hA53T-SNCA) in a PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1/ PARK6) knockout background and mutant mice lacking both DJ-1 (also known as PARK7) and PINK1. We showed that overexpressed hA53T-SNCA localizes to the nucleolus. Moreover, these mutants show a progressive reduction of rDNA transcription linked to a reduced mouse lifespan. By contrast, rDNA transcription is preserved in DJ-1/PINK1 double knockout (DKO) mice. mRNA levels of the nucleolar transcription initiation factor 1A (TIF-IA, also known as RRN3) decrease in the substantia nigra of individuals with PD. Because loss of TIF-IA, as a tool to mimic nucleolar stress, increases oxidative stress and because DJ-1 and PINK1 mutations result in higher vulnerability to oxidative stress, we further explored the synergism between these PD-associated genes and impaired nucleolar function. By the conditional ablation of TIF-IA, we blocked ribosomal RNA (rRNA) synthesis in adult dopaminergic neurons in a DJ-1/PINK1 DKO background. However, the early phenotype of these triple knockout mice was similar to those mice exclusively lacking TIF-IA. These data sustain a model in which loss of DJ-1 and PINK1 does not impair nucleolar activity in a pre-symptomatic stage. This is the first study to analyse nucleolar function in digenic PD models. We can conclude that, at least in these models, the nucleolus is not as severely disrupted as previously shown in DA neurons from PD patients and neurotoxin-based PD mouse models. The results also show that the early increase in rDNA transcription and nucleolar integrity may represent specific homeostatic responses in these digenic pre-symptomatic PD models.
  • Virachit, Sophie; Mathews, Kathryn J.; Cottam, Veronica; Werry, Eryn; Galli, Emilia; Rappou, Elisabeth; Lindholm, Pӓivi; Saarma, Mart; Halliday, Glenda M.; Weickert, Cynthia Shannon; Double, Kay L. (2019)
    Growth factors can facilitate hippocampus-based learning and memory and are potential targets for treatment of cognitive dysfunction via their neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects. Dementia is common in Parkinson's disease (PD), but treatment options are limited. We aimed to determine if levels of growth factors are altered in the hippocampus of patients with PD, and if such alterations are associated with PD pathology. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to quantify seven growth factors in fresh frozen hippocampus from 10 PD and nine age-matched control brains. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry were used to explore cellular and inflammatory changes that may be associated with growth factor alterations. In the PD hippocampus, protein levels of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor were significantly decreased, despite no evidence of neuronal loss. In contrast, protein levels of fibroblast growth factor 2 and cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor were significantly increased in PD compared to controls. Levels of the growth factors epidermal growth factor, heparin-binding epidermal growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor did not differ between groups. Our data demonstrate changes in specific growth factors in the hippocampus of the PD brain, which potentially represent targets for modification to help attenuate cognitive decline in PD. These data also suggest that multiple growth factors and direction of change needs to be considered when approaching growth factors as a potential treatment for cognitive decline.
  • Murros, Kari; Wasiljeff, Joonas; Macías-Sánchez, Elena; Faivre, Damien; Soinne, Lauri; Valtonen, Jussi; Pohja, Marjatta; Saari, Pekka; Pesonen, Lauri J.; Salminen, Johanna M. (2019)
    Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, magnetite/maghemite, have been identified in human tissues, including the brain, meninges, heart, liver, and spleen. As these nanoparticles may play a role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, a pilot study explored the occurrence of these particles in the cervical (neck) skin of 10 patients with Parkinson's disease and 10 healthy controls. Magnetometry and transmission electron microscopy analyses revealed magnetite/maghemite nanoparticles in the skin samples of every study participant. Regarding magnetite/maghemite concentrations of the single-domain particles, no significant between-group difference was emerged. In low-temperature magnetic measurement, a magnetic anomaly at similar to 50 K was evident mainly in the dermal samples of the Parkinson group. This anomaly was larger than the effect related to the magnetic ordering of molecular oxygen. The temperature range of the anomaly, and the size-range of magnetite/maghemite, both refute the idea of magnetic ordering of any iron phase other than magnetite. We propose that the explanation for the finding is interaction between clusters of superparamagnetic and single-domain-sized nanoparticles. The source and significance of these particles remains speculative.
  • Mannistö, Pekka T.; Garcia-Horsman, J. Arturo (2017)
    In the aging brain, the correct balance of neural transmission and its regulation is of particular significance, and neuropeptides have a significant role. Prolyl oligopeptidase (PREP) is a protein highly expressed in brain, and evidence indicates that it is related to aging and in neurodegenration. Although PREP is regarded as a peptidase, the physiological substrates in the brain have not been defined, and after intense research, the molecular mechanisms where this protein is involved have not been defined. We propose that PREP functions as a regulator of other proteins though peptide gated direct interaction. We speculate that, at least in some processes where PREP has shown to be relevant, the peptidase activity is only a consequence of the interactions, and not the main physiological activity.
  • Sree, Sreesha; Parkkinen, Ilmari; Their, Anna; Airavaara, Mikko; Jokitalo, Eija (2021)
    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a multipurpose organelle comprising dynamic structural subdomains, such as ER sheets and tubules, serving to maintain protein, calcium, and lipid homeostasis. In neurons, the single ER is compartmentalized with a careful segregation of the structural subdomains in somatic and neurite (axodendritic) regions. The distribution and arrangement of these ER subdomains varies between different neuronal types. Mutations in ER membrane shaping proteins and morphological changes in the ER are associated with various neurodegenerative diseases implying significance of ER morphology in maintaining neuronal integrity. Specific neurons, such as the highly arborized dopaminergic neurons, are prone to stress and neurodegeneration. Differences in morphology and functionality of ER between the neurons may account for their varied sensitivity to stress and neurodegenerative changes. In this review, we explore the neuronal ER and discuss its distinct morphological attributes and specific functions. We hypothesize that morphological heterogeneity of the ER in neurons is an important factor that accounts for their selective susceptibility to neurodegeneration.