Browsing by Subject "Alpha-synuclein"

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  • Borghammer, Per; Just, Mie Kristine; Horsager, Jacob; Skjaerbaek, Casper; Raunio, Anna; Kok, Eloise H. H.; Savola, Sara; Murayama, Shigeo; Saito, Yuko; Myllykangas, Liisa; Van den Berge, Nathalie (2022)
    The dual-hit hypothesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) originally postulated that a neurotropic pathogen leads to formation of alpha-synuclein pathology in the olfactory bulb (OB) and dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV) and then invades the brain from these two entry points. Little work has been conducted to validate an important underlying premise for the dual-hit hypothesis, namely that the initial Lewy pathology does arise simultaneously in the OB and the enteric nervous system (ENS) plexuses and DMV at the earliest disease stage. We conducted a focused re-analysis of two postmortem datasets, which included large numbers of mild Lewy body disease (LBD) cases. We found that cases with alpha-synuclein pathology restricted to the peripheral autonomic nervous system and/or lower brainstem (early body-first LBD cases) very rarely had any OB pathology, suggesting that Lewy pathology commonly arises in the ENS without concomitant involvement of the OB. In contrast, cases with mild amygdala-predominant Lewy pathology (early brain-first LBD cases) nearly always showed OB pathology. This is compatible with the first pathology being triggered in the OB or amygdala followed by secondary spreading to connected structures, but without early involvement of the ENS or lower brainstem. These observations support that the pathologic process starts in either the olfactory bulb or the ENS, but rarely in the olfactory bulb and gut simultaneously. More studies on neuropathological datasets are warranted to reproduce these findings. The agreement between the revised single-hit hypothesis and the recently proposed brain-first vs. body-first model of LBD is discussed.
  • Albert, Katrina; Kälvälä, Sara; Hakosalo, Vili; Syvänen, Valtteri; Krupa, Patryk; Niskanen, Jonna; Peltonen, Sanni; Sonninen, Tuuli-Maria; Lehtonen, Sarka (2022)
    Alpha-synuclein's role in diseases termed "synucleinopathies", including Parkinson's disease, has been well-documented. However, after over 25 years of research, we still do not fully understand the alpha-synuclein protein and its role in disease. In vitro cellular models are some of the most powerful tools that researchers have at their disposal to understand protein function. Advantages include good control over experimental conditions, the possibility for high throughput, and fewer ethical issues when compared to animal models or the attainment of human samples. On the flip side, their major disadvantages are their questionable relevance and lack of a "whole-brain" environment when it comes to modeling human diseases, such as is the case of neurodegenerative disorders. Although now, with the advent of pluripotent stem cells and the ability to create minibrains in a dish, this is changing. With this review, we aim to wade through the recent alpha-synuclein literature to discuss how different cell culture setups (immortalized cell lines, primary neurons, human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), blood-brain barrier models, and brain organoids) can help us understand aggregation pathology in Parkinson's and other synucleinopathies.
  • Borghammer, Per; Horsager, Jacob; Andersen, Katrine; Van den Berge, Nathalie; Raunio, Anna; Murayama, Shigeo; Parkkinen, Laura; Myllykangas, Liisa (2021)
    Aggregation of alpha-synuclein into inclusion bodies, termed Lewy pathology, is a defining feature of Parkinson's disease (PD) and Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). In the majority of post mortem cases, the distribution of Lewy pathology seems to follow two overarching patterns: a caudo-rostral pattern with relatively more pathology in the brainstem than in the telencephalon, and an amygdala-centered pattern with the most abundant pathology in the "center of the brain", including the amygdala, entorhinal cortex, and substantia nigra, and relatively less pathology in the lower brainstem and spinal autonomic nuclei. The recent body-first versus brain-first model of Lewy Body Disorders proposes that the initial pathogenic alpha-synuclein in some patients originates in the enteric nervous system with secondary spreading to the brain; and in other patients originates inside the CNS with secondary spreading to the lower brainstem and peripheral autonomic nervous system. Here, we use two existing post mortem datasets to explore the possibility that clinical body-first and brain-first subtypes are equivalent to the caudo-rostral and amygdala-centered patterns of Lewy pathology seen at post mortem.
  • Savolainen, Mari H.; Albert, Katrina; Airavaara, Mikko; Myohänen, Timo T. (2017)
    Proteinaceous inclusions, called Lewy bodies, are used as a pathological hallmark for Parkinson's disease (PD). Lewy bodies contain insoluble alpha-synuclein (aSyn) and many other ubiquitinated proteins, suggesting a role for protein degradation system failure in the PD pathogenesis. Indeed, proteasomal dysfunction has been linked to PD but commonly used in vivo toxin models, such as 6-OHDA or MPTP, do not have a significant effect on the proteasomal system or protein aggregation. Therefore, we wanted to study the characteristics of a proteasomal inhibitor, lactacystin, as a PD model on young and adult mice. To study this, we performed stereotactic microinjection of lactacystin above the substantia nigra pars compacta in young (2 month old) and adult (12-14 month old) C57Bl/6 mice. Motor behavior was measured by locomotor activity and cylinder tests, and the markers of neuroinflammation, aSyn, and dopaminergic system were assessed by immunohistochemistry and HPLC. We found that lactacystin induced a Parkinson's disease-like motor phenotype 5-7 days after injection in young and adult mice, and this was associated with widespread neuroinflammation based on glial cell markers, aSyn accumulation in substantia nigra, striatal dopamine decrease, and loss of dopaminergic cell bodies in the substantia nigra and terminals in the striatum. When comparing young and adult mice, adult mice were more sensitive for dopaminergic degeneration after lactacystin injection that further supports the use of adult mice instead of young when modeling neurodegeneration. Our data showed that lactacystin is useful in modeling various aspects of Parkinson's disease, and taken together, our findings emphasize the role of a protein degradation deficit in Parkinson's disease pathology, and support the use of proteasomal inhibitors as Parkinson's disease models.
  • International DLB Genetics Consortium; Hatton, Christopher; Ghanem, Simona S.; Koss, David J.; Tienari, Pentti; Myllykangas, Liisa; Oinas, Minna Susanna (2022)
    Krabbe disease is an infantile neurodegenerative disorder resulting from pathogenic variants in the GALC gene that causes accumulation of the toxic sphingolipid psychosine. GALC variants are also associated with Lewy body diseases, an umbrella term for age-associated neurodegenerative diseases in which the protein a-synuclein aggregates into Lewy bodies. To explore whether alpha-synuclein in Krabbe disease has pathological similarities to that in Lewy body disease, we performed an observational post-mortem study of Krabbe disease brain tissue (n = 4) compared to infant controls (n = 4) and identified widespread accumulations of alpha-synuclein. To determine whether alpha-synuclein in Krabbe disease brain displayed disease-associated pathogenic properties we evaluated its seeding capacity using the real-time quaking-induced conversion assay in two cases for which frozen tissue was available and strikingly identified aggregation into fibrils similar to those observed in Lewy body disease, confirming the prion-like capacity of Krabbe disease-derived alpha-synuclein. These observations constitute the first report of prion-like alpha-synuclein in the brain tissue of infants and challenge the putative view that alpha-synuclein pathology is merely an age-associated phenomenon, instead suggesting it results from alterations to biological pathways, such as sphingolipid metabolism. Our findings have important implications for understanding the mechanisms underlying Lewy body formation in Lewy body disease.
  • Rostami, Jinar; Jäntti, Maria; Cui, Hengjing; Rinne, Maiju K.; Kukkonen, Jyrki P.; Falk, Anna; Erlandsson, Anna; Myöhänen, Timo (2020)
    Growing evidence emphasizes insufficient clearance of pathological alpha-synuclein (alpha SYN) aggregates in the progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). Consequently, cellular degradation pathways represent a potential therapeutic target. Prolyl oligopeptidase (PREP) is highly expressed in the brain and has been suggested to increase alpha SYN aggregation and negatively regulate the autophagy pathway. Inhibition of PREP with a small molecule inhibitor, KYP-2407, stimulates autophagy and reduces the oligomeric species of alpha SYN aggregates in PD mouse models. However, whether PREP inhibition has any effects on intracellular alpha SYN fibrils has not been studied before. In this study, the effect of KYP2407 on alpha SYN preformed fibrils (PFFs) was tested in SH-SY5Y cells and human astmcytes. Immunostaining analysis revealed that both cell types accumulated alpha SYN PFFs intracellularly but KYP-2047 decreased intracellular alpha SYN deposits only in SH-SY5Y cells, as astrocytes did not show any PREP activity. Western blot analysis confirmed the reduction of high molecular weight alpha SYN species in SH-SY5Y cell lysates, and secretion of aSYN from SH-SY5Y cells also decreased in the presence of KYP-2407. Accumulation of alpha SYN inside the SH-SY5Y cells resulted in an increase of the auto-lysosomal proteins p62 and LC3BII, as well as calpain 1 and 2, which have been shown to be associated with PD pathology. Notably, treatment with KYP-2407 significantly reduced p62 and LC3BII levels, indicating an increased autophagic flux, and calpain 1 and 2 levels returned to normal in the presence of KYP-2407. Our findings indicate that PREP inhibition can potentially be used as therapy to reduce the insoluble intracellular alpha SYN aggregates.