Pesticide exposure exacerbates alpha-synucleinopathy in an A53T transgenic mouse model.
ABSTRACT: The factors initiating or contributing to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease and related neurodegenerative synucleinopathies are still largely unclear, but environmental factors such as pesticides have been implicated. In this study, A53T mutant human alpha-synuclein transgenic mice (M83), which develop alpha-synuclein neuropathology, were treated with the pesticides paraquat and maneb (either singly or together), and their effects were analyzed. Immunohistochemical and biochemical analyses showed that chronic treatment of M83 transgenic mice with both pesticides (but not with either pesticide alone) drastically increased neuronal alpha-synuclein pathology throughout the central nervous system including the hippocampus, cerebellum, and sensory and auditory cortices. alpha-Synuclein-associated mitochondrial degeneration was observed in M83 but not in wild-type alpha-synuclein transgenic mice. Because alpha-synuclein inclusions accumulated in pesticide-exposed M83 transgenic mice without a motor phenotype, we conclude that alpha-synuclein aggregate formation precedes disease onset. These studies support the notion that environmental factors causing nitrative damage are closely linked to mechanisms underlying the formation of alpha-synuclein pathologies and the onset of Parkinson's-like neurodegeneration.
Project description:The accumulation of misfolded a-synuclein is mechanistically linked to neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD) and other alpha-synucleinopathies. However, how alpha-synuclein causes neurodegeneration is unresolved. Several studies have supported the involvement of dynein, the major motor for retrograde axonal transport in alpha-synuclein-dependent neurodegeneration, especially in the nigrostriatal system. Therefore, we examined the nigrostriatal dyneins in transgenic mice that overexpress human A53T alpha-synuclein and recapitulate key features of a PD-like neuronal synucleinopathy. Age-matched nontransgenic littermates were used as controls. The results demonstrated that the protein level of dynein was decreased in the striatum, whereas it was elevated in the substantia nigra. Double immunostaining results revealed that the reduction in dynein level was associated with aggregation of A53T a-synuclein in the striatum. Furthermore, we performed a quantitative analysis of motor behaviors in A53T alpha-synuclein transgenic mice and controls using a modified open field test. We demonstrated that the protein level of dynein in the striatum was significantly correlated with the motor behaviors. Together, our data indicate that dynein changes in the nigrostriatal system of A53T alpha-synuclein transgenic mice may contribute to their severe movement disorder.
Project description:The activation of NADPH oxidase contributes to dopaminergic neurodegeneration and motor deficits in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, whether NADPH oxidase is involved in non-motor symptoms, especially cognitive dysfunction in PD remains unknown. This study is undertaken to characterize the effects of inhibition of NADPH oxidase by a widely used NADPH oxidase inhibitor apocynin on learning and memory deficits in paraquat and maneb-induced mouse PD model. Results showed that mice injected with paraquat and maneb displayed impairments of spatial learning and memory, which was associated with reduced tyrosine hydroxylase expression as well as increased neurodegeneration, synaptic loss, ?-synuclein expression and Ser129-phosphorylation in the hippocampus. Interestingly, apocynin treatment significantly ameliorated learning and memory deficits as well as hippocampal neurodegeneration and ?-synuclein pathology in mice treated with these two pesticides. Mechanistically, we found that apocynin mitigated paraquat and maneb-induced NADPH oxidase activation and related oxidative stress. Furthermore, reduced microglial activation and M1 polarization were observed in apocynin and paraquat and maneb co-treated mice compared with paraquat and maneb alone group. Finally, apocynin inhibited the activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription 1 (STAT1) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-?B) pathways, two key regulatory factors for microglial M1 inflammatory responses, in paraquat and maneb-treated mice. Altogether, our findings implied that NADPH oxidase mediates learning and memory deficits in PD, and inhibition of NADPH oxidase by apocynin blocks impairments of learning and memory via the suppression of oxidative stress and neuroinflammation.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) and multiple system atrophy (MSA) are neurodegenerative diseases characterized by inclusions mainly composed of ?-synuclein (?-syn) aggregates. The objective of this study was to investigate if ?-synuclein (?-syn) overexpression could have beneficial effects by inhibiting the aggregation of ?-syn. The M83 transgenic mouse is a model of synucleinopathy, which develops severe motor symptoms associated with aggregation of ?-syn. M83 neonate or adult mice were injected with adeno-associated virus vectors carrying the human ?-syn gene (AAV?-syn) or green fluorescent protein gene (AAVGFP) using different injection sites. The M83 disease was - or not - accelerated using extracts of M83 brains injected with brain extract from mouse (M83) or human (MSA) origins. AAV vectors expression was confirmed using Western blot and ELISA technics. AAV mediated ?-syn overexpression did not delay the disease onset or reduce the ?-syn phosphorylated at serine 129 levels detected by ELISA, regardless of the AAV injection route and the inoculation of brain extracts. Instead, a proteinase-K resistant ?-syn staining was detected by immunohistochemistry, specifically in sick M83 mice overexpressing ?-syn after inoculation of AAV?-syn. This study indicated for the first time that viral vector-mediated ?-syn overexpression could form aggregates in a model of synucleinopathy.
Project description:Neurofilaments are a major component of the axonal cytoskeleton in neurons and have been implicated in a number of neurodegenerative diseases due to their presence within characteristic pathological inclusions. Their contributions to these diseases are not yet fully understood, but previous studies investigated the effects of ablating the obligate subunit of neurofilaments, low molecular mass neurofilament subunit (NFL), on disease phenotypes in transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease and tauopathy. Here, we tested the effects of ablating NFL in ?-synuclein M83 transgenic mice expressing the human pathogenic A53T mutation, by breeding them onto an NFL null background. The induction and spread of ?-synuclein inclusion pathology was triggered by the injection of preformed ?-synuclein fibrils into the gastrocnemius muscle or hippocampus in M83 versus M83/NFL null mice. We observed no difference in the post-injection time to motor-impairment and paralysis endpoint or amount and distribution of ?-synuclein inclusion pathology in the muscle injected M83 and M83/NFL null mice. Hippocampal injected M83/NFL null mice displayed subtle region-specific differences in the amount of ?-synuclein inclusions however, pathology was observed in the same regions as the M83 mice. Overall, we observed only minor differences in the induction and transmission of ?-synuclein pathology in these induced models of synucleinopathy in the presence or absence of NFL. This suggests that NFL and neurofilaments do not play a major role in influencing the induction and transmission of ?-synuclein aggregation.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) is a multifactorial disease where environmental factors act on genetically predisposed individuals. Although only 5% of PD manifestations are associated with specific mutations, majority of PD cases are of idiopathic origin, where environment plays a prominent role. Concurrent exposure to Paraquat (PQ) and Maneb (MB) in rural workers increases the risk for PD and exposure of adult mice to MB/PQ results in dopamine fiber loss and decreased locomotor activity. While PD is characterized by neuronal loss in the substantia nigra, we previously showed that accumulation of ?-synuclein in the limbic system contributes to neurodegeneration by interfering with adult neurogenesis.We investigated the effect of pesticides on adult hippocampal neurogenesis in two transgenic models: Line 61, expressing the human wild type SNCA gene and Line LRRK2(G2019S), expressing the human LRRK2 gene with the mutation G2019S. Combined exposure to MB/PQ resulted in significant reduction of neuronal precursors and proliferating cells in non-transgenic animals, and this effect was increased in transgenic mice, in particular for Line 61, suggesting that ?-synuclein accumulation and environmental toxins have a synergistic effect. We further investigated the transcription of 84 genes with direct function on neurogenesis. Overexpresion of ?-synuclein resulted in the downregulation of 12% of target genes, most of which were functionally related to cell differentiation, while LRRK2 mutation had a minor impact on gene expression. MB/PQ also affected transcription in non-transgenic backgrounds, but when transgenic mice were exposed to the pesticides, profound alterations in gene expression affecting 27% of the studied targets were observed in both transgenic lines. Gene enrichment analysis showed that 1:3 of those genes were under the regulation of FoxF2 and FoxO3A, suggesting a primary role of these proteins in the response to genetic and environmental cues.We report that adult neurogenesis is highly susceptible to multiple "risk factors" for PD, including ?-synuclein accumulation, LRRK2 G2019 mutation and exposure to environmental toxins. We identified specific groups of genes that are responsive to each stressor, while uncovering a novel function for Fox transcription factors in PD.
Project description:Altogether results show that peroxidase activity of cytochrome c contributes to α-synuclein radical formation and oligomerization, and that α-synuclein through its co-localization with cytochrome c or on it's own, affects several biological pathways which contribute to increased neuronal death in Maneb and paraquat (MP)-induced model of Parkinson's disease. Overall design: Nigrostriatal tissue of Controls, Wild-Type MP co-exposed mice, and MP-coexposed α-synuclein Knock out mice, were analysed by Microarray with three replicates for each group.
Project description:While a number of genetic mutations are associated with Parkinson's disease (PD), it is also widely acknowledged that the environment plays a significant role in the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases. Epidemiological evidence suggests that occupational exposure to pesticides (e.g., dieldrin, paraquat, rotenone, maneb, and ziram) is associated with a higher risk of developing PD in susceptible populations. Within dopaminergic neurons, environmental chemicals can have an array of adverse effects resulting in cell death, such as aberrant redox cycling and oxidative damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, unfolded protein response, ubiquitin-proteome system dysfunction, neuroinflammation, and metabolic disruption. More recently, our understanding of how pesticides affect cells of the central nervous system has been strengthened by computational biology. New insight has been gained about transcriptional and proteomic networks, and the metabolic pathways perturbed by pesticides. These networks and cell signaling pathways constitute potential therapeutic targets for intervention to slow or mitigate neurodegenerative diseases. Here we review the epidemiological evidence that supports a role for specific pesticides in the etiology of PD and identify molecular profiles amongst these pesticides that may contribute to the disease. Using the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database, these transcripts were compared to those regulated by the PD-associated neurotoxicant MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine). While many transcripts are already established as those related to PD (alpha-synuclein, caspases, leucine rich repeat kinase 2, and parkin2), lesser studied targets have emerged as "pesticide/PD-associated transcripts" [e.g., phosphatidylinositol glycan anchor biosynthesis class C (Pigc), allograft inflammatory factor 1 (Aif1), TIMP metallopeptidase inhibitor 3, and DNA damage inducible transcript 4]. We also compared pesticide-regulated genes to a recent meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in PD which revealed new genetic mutant alleles; the pesticides under review regulated the expression of many of these genes (e.g., ELOVL fatty acid elongase 7, ATPase H+ transporting V0 subunit a1, and bridging integrator 3). The significance is that these proteins may contribute to pesticide-related increases in PD risk. This review collates information on transcriptome responses to PD-associated pesticides to develop a mechanistic framework for quantifying PD risk with exposures.
Project description:Expression of A53T mutant human alpha-synuclein under the mouse prion promoter is among the most successful transgenic models of Parkinson's disease. Accumulation of A53T alpha-synuclein causes adult mice to develop severe motor impairment resulting in early death at 8-12 months of age. In younger, pre-symptomatic animals, altered motor activity and anxiety-like behaviors have also been reported. These behavioral changes, which precede severe neuropathology, may stem from non-pathological functions of alpha-synuclein, including modulation of monoamine neurotransmission. Our analysis over the adult life-span of motor activity, anxiety-like, and depressive-like behaviors identifies perturbations both before and after the onset of disease. Young A53T mice had increased distribution of the dopamine transporter (DAT) to the membrane that was associated with increased striatal re-uptake function. DAT function decreased with aging, and was associated with neurochemical alterations that included increased expression of beta-synuclein and gamma synuclein. Prior to normalization of dopamine uptake, transient activation of Tau kinases and hyperphosphorylation of Tau in the striatum were also observed. Aged A53T mice had reduced neuron counts in the substantia nigra pars compacta, yet striatal medium spiny neuron dendritic spine density was largely maintained. These findings highlight the involvement of the synuclein family of proteins and phosphorylation of Tau in the response to dopaminergic dysfunction of the nigrostriatal pathway.
Project description:Alpha synuclein (SNCA) genes and environmental factors are important risk factors of Parkinson's disease (PD). The agrichemicals paraquat, maneb and chlorpyrifos selectively target dopaminergic neurons, leading to parkinsonism, through ill-defined mechanisms. We analyzed the ability of low dose paraquat, maneb and chlorpyrifos, separately or combined together, to induce synucleinopathy in wild type mice. Paraquat and maneb applied together did not increase ?-Synuclein (?-Syn) levels. By contrast, paraquat and chlorpyrifos together resulted in robust accumulation of ?-Syn in striata in mice. Therefore, co-treatment with chlorpyrifos enhanced the effects of paraquat. Paraquat, and its co-treatment with maneb or chlorpyrifos, inhibited all soluble proteasomal expression of 26S proteasome subunits. Both paraquat and chlorpyrifos treatments increased levels of the autophagy inhibitor, mammalian target of rapamycin, mTOR, suggesting impaired axonal autophagy, despite increases in certain autophagic proteins, such as beclin 1 and Atg 12. Autophagic flux was also impaired, as ratios of LC3 II to LC3 I were reduced in all the treated animals. These results suggest that a combination of paraquat and chlorpyrifos is much more toxic than paraquat alone or combined with maneb. These effects are likely via inhibitory effects of these toxins on proteasomes and autophagy, which lead to accumulation of ?-Syn. Our study provides a novel insight into the mechanisms of action of these agrichemicals.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The accumulation of misfolded proteins appears as a fundamental pathogenic process in human neurodegenerative diseases. In the case of synucleinopathies such as Parkinson's disease (PD) or dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), the intraneuronal deposition of aggregated alpha-synuclein (?S) is a major characteristic of the disease, but the molecular basis distinguishing the disease-associated protein (?SD) from its normal counterpart remains poorly understood. However, recent research suggests that a prion-like mechanism could be involved in the inter-cellular and inter-molecular propagation of aggregation of the protein within the nervous system. RESULTS: Our data confirm our previous observations of disease acceleration in a transgenic mouse line (M83) overexpressing a mutated (A53T) form of human ?S, following inoculation of either brain extracts from sick M83 mice or fibrillar recombinant ?S. A similar phenomenon is observed following a "second passage" in the M83 mouse model, including after stereotactic inoculations into the hippocampus or cerebellum. For further molecular analyses of ?SD, we designed an ELISA test that identifies ?SD specifically in sick mice and in the brain regions targeted by the pathological process in this mouse model. ?SD distribution, mainly in the caudal brain regions and spinal cord, overall appears remarkably uniform, whatever the conditions of experimental challenge. In addition to specific detection of ?SD immunoreactivity using an antibody against Ser129 phosphorylated ?S, similar results were observed in ELISA with several other antibodies against the C-terminal part of ?S, including an antibody against non phosphorylated ?S. This also indicated consistent immunoreactivity of the murine ?S protein specifically in the affected brain regions of sick mice. CONCLUSIONS: Prion-like behaviour in propagation of the disease-associated ?S was confirmed with the M83 transgenic mouse model, that could be followed by an ELISA test. The ELISA data question their possible relationship with the conformational differences between the disease-associated ?S and its normal counterpart.