Mitochondrial permeability transition pore regulates Parkinson's disease development in mutant ?-synuclein transgenic mice.
ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a movement disorder caused by neurodegeneration in neocortex, substantia nigra and brainstem, and synucleinopathy. Some inherited PD is caused by mutations in ?-synuclein (?Syn), and inherited and idiopathic PD is associated with mitochondrial perturbations. However, the mechanisms of pathogenesis are unresolved. We characterized a human ?Syn transgenic mouse model and tested the hypothesis that the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) is involved in the disease mechanisms. C57BL/6 mice expressing human A53T-mutant ?Syn driven by a thymic antigen-1 promoter develop a severe, age-related, fatal movement disorder involving ataxia, rigidity, and postural instability. These mice develop synucleinopathy and neocortical, substantia nigra, and cerebello-rubro-thalamic degeneration involving mitochondriopathy and apoptotic and non-apoptotic neurodegeneration. Interneurons undergo apoptotic degeneration in young mice. Mutant ?Syn associated with dysmorphic neuronal mitochondria and bound voltage-dependent anion channels. Genetic ablation of cyclophilin D, an mPTP modulator, delayed disease onset, and extended lifespans of mutant ?Syn mice. Thus, mutant ?Syn transgenic mice on a C57BL/6 background develop PD-like phenotypes, and the mPTP is involved in their disease mechanisms.
Project description:Human and animal studies have shown that exposure to the organochlorine pesticide dieldrin is associated with increased risk of Parkinson's disease (PD). Previous work showed that developmental dieldrin exposure increased neuronal susceptibility to MPTP toxicity in male C57BL/6 mice, possibly via changes in dopamine (DA) packaging and turnover. However, the relevance of the MPTP model to PD pathophysiology has been questioned. We therefore studied dieldrin-induced neurotoxicity in the α-synuclein (α-syn)-preformed fibril (PFF) model, which better reflects the α-syn pathology and toxicity observed in PD pathogenesis. Specifically, we used a "two-hit" model to determine whether developmental dieldrin exposure increases susceptibility to α-syn PFF-induced synucleinopathy. Dams were fed either dieldrin (0.3 mg/kg, every 3-4 days) or vehicle corn oil starting 1 month prior to breeding and continuing through weaning of pups at postnatal day 22. At 12 weeks of age, male and female offspring received intrastriatal α-syn PFF or control saline injections. Consistent with the male-specific increased susceptibility to MPTP, our results demonstrate that developmental dieldrin exposure exacerbates PFF-induced toxicity in male mice only. Specifically, in male offspring, dieldrin exacerbated PFF-induced motor deficits on the challenging beam and increased DA turnover in the striatum 6 months after PFF injection. However, male offspring showed neither exacerbation of phosphorylated α-syn aggregation (pSyn) in the substantia nigra (SN) at 1 or 2 months post-PFF injection, nor exacerbation of PFF-induced TH and NeuN loss in the SN 6 months post-PFF injection. Collectively, these data indicate that developmental dieldrin exposure produces a male-specific exacerbation of synucleinopathy-induced behavioral and biochemical deficits. This sex-specific result is consistent with both previous work in the MPTP model, our previously reported sex-specific effects of this exposure paradigm on the male and female epigenome, and the higher prevalence and more severe course of PD in males. The novel two-hit environmental toxicant/PFF exposure paradigm established in this project can be used to explore the mechanisms by which other PD-related exposures alter neuronal vulnerability to synucleinopathy in sporadic PD.
Project description:Accumulation of alpha-synuclein (?-syn) in the central nervous system (CNS) is a core feature of Parkinson disease (PD) that leads to activation of the innate immune system, production of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and subsequent neurodegeneration. Here, we used heterozygous reporter knock-in mice in which the first exons of the fractalkine receptor (CX3CR1) and of the C-C chemokine receptor type 2 (CCR2) are replaced with fluorescent reporters to study the role of resident microglia (CX3CR1+) and infiltrating peripheral monocytes (CCR2+), respectively, in the CNS. We used an ?-syn mouse model induced by viral over-expression of ?-syn. We find that in vivo, expression of full-length human ?-syn induces robust infiltration of pro-inflammatory CCR2+ peripheral monocytes into the substantia nigra. Genetic deletion of CCR2 prevents ?-syn induced monocyte entry, attenuates MHCII expression and blocks the subsequent degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. These results demonstrate that extravasation of pro-inflammatory peripheral monocytes into the CNS plays a key role in neurodegeneration in this model of PD synucleinopathy, and suggest that peripheral monocytes may be a target of neuroprotective therapies for human PD.
Project description:Variants in the gene encoding the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) are known to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer disease and Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the potential role of TREM2 effect on synucleinopathy has not been characterized. In this study, we investigated whether loss of TREM2 function affects α-synucleinopathy both <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i>. <i>In vitro</i>, BV2 microglial cells were exposed to α-synuclein (α-syn) in the presence or absence of TREM2 small interference RNA. For <i>in vivo</i> studies, wild-type controls and TREM2 gene knockout mice were intracranially injected in the substantia nigra with adeno-associated viral vectors expressing human α-syn (AAV-SYN) to induce PD. Our results revealed that knockdown of TREM2 aggravated α-syn-induced inflammatory responses in BV2 cells and caused greater apoptosis in SH-SY5Y cells treated with BV2-conditioned medium. In mice, TREM2 knockout exacerbated dopaminergic neuron loss in response to AAV-SYN. Moreover, both <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i> TREM2 deficiency induced a shift from an anti-inflammatory toward a proinflammatory activation status of microglia. These data suggest that impairing microglial TREM2 signaling aggravates proinflammatory responses to α-syn and exacerbates α-syn-induced neurodegeneration by modulating microglial activation state.-Guo, Y., Wei, X., Yan, H., Qin, Y., Yan, S., Liu, J., Zhao, Y., Jiang, F., Lou, H. TREM2 deficiency aggravates α-synuclein-induced neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation in Parkinson's disease models.
Project description:Analysis of human pathology led Braak to postulate that ?-synuclein (?-syn) pathology could spread from the gut to brain via the vagus nerve. Here, we test this postulate by assessing ?-synucleinopathy in the brain in a novel gut-to-brain ?-syn transmission mouse model, where pathological ?-syn preformed fibrils were injected into the duodenal and pyloric muscularis layer. Spread of pathologic ?-syn in brain, as assessed by phosphorylation of serine 129 of ?-syn, was observed first in the dorsal motor nucleus, then in caudal portions of the hindbrain, including the locus coeruleus, and much later in basolateral amygdala, dorsal raphe nucleus, and the substantia nigra pars compacta. Moreover, loss of dopaminergic neurons and motor and non-motor symptoms were observed in a similar temporal manner. Truncal vagotomy and ?-syn deficiency prevented the gut-to-brain spread of ?-synucleinopathy and associated neurodegeneration and behavioral deficits. This study supports the Braak hypothesis in the etiology of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD).
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder of uncertain pathogenesis characterized by a loss of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) dopaminergic (DA) neurons, and can be modeled by the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Both inflammatory processes and oxidative stress may contribute to MPTP- and PD-related neurodegeneration. However, whether inflammation may cause oxidative damage in MPTP and PD is unknown. Here we show that NADPH-oxidase, the main reactive oxygen species (ROS)-producing enzyme during inflammation, is up-regulated in SNpc of human PD and MPTP mice. These changes coincide with the local production of ROS, microglial activation, and DA neuronal loss seen after MPTP injections. Mutant mice defective in NADPH-oxidase exhibit less SNpc DA neuronal loss and protein oxidation than their WT littermates after MPTP injections. We show that extracellular ROS are a main determinant in inflammation-mediated DA neurotoxicity in the MPTP model of PD. This study supports a critical role for NADPH-oxidase in the pathogenesis of PD and suggests that targeting this enzyme or enhancing extracellular antioxidants may provide novel therapies for PD.
Project description:Converging evidence suggests a role for microglia-mediated neuroinflammation in Parkinson's disease (PD). Animal models of PD can serve as a platform to investigate the role of neuroinflammation in degeneration in PD. However, due to features of the previously available PD models, interpretations of the role of neuroinflammation as a contributor to or a consequence of neurodegeneration have remained elusive. In the present study, we investigated the temporal relationship of neuroinflammation in a model of synucleinopathy following intrastriatal injection of pre-formed alpha-synuclein fibrils (?-syn PFFS).Male Fischer 344 rats (N?=?114) received unilateral intrastriatal injections of ?-syn PFFs, PBS, or rat serum albumin with cohorts euthanized at monthly intervals up to 6 months. Quantification of dopamine neurons, total neurons, phosphorylated ?-syn (pS129) aggregates, major histocompatibility complex-II (MHC-II) antigen-presenting microglia, and ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule-1 (Iba-1) immunoreactive microglial soma size was performed in the substantia nigra. In addition, the cortex and striatum were also examined for the presence of pS129 aggregates and MHC-II antigen-presenting microglia to compare the temporal patterns of pSyn accumulation and reactive microgliosis.Intrastriatal injection of ?-syn PFFs to rats resulted in widespread accumulation of phosphorylated ?-syn inclusions in several areas that innervate the striatum followed by significant loss (~?35%) of substantia nigra pars compacta dopamine neurons within 5-6 months. The peak magnitudes of ?-syn inclusion formation, MHC-II expression, and reactive microglial morphology were all observed in the SN 2 months following injection and 3 months prior to nigral dopamine neuron loss. Surprisingly, MHC-II immunoreactivity in ?-syn PFF injected rats was relatively limited during the later interval of degeneration. Moreover, we observed a significant correlation between substantia nigra pSyn inclusion load and number of microglia expressing MHC-II. In addition, we observed a similar relationship between ?-syn inclusion load and number of microglia expressing MHC-II in cortical regions, but not in the striatum.Our results demonstrate that increases in microglia displaying a reactive morphology and MHC-II expression occur in the substantia nigra in close association with peak numbers of pSyn inclusions, months prior to nigral dopamine neuron degeneration, and suggest that reactive microglia may contribute to vulnerability of SNc neurons to degeneration. The rat ?-syn PFF model provides an opportunity to examine the innate immune response to accumulation of pathological ?-syn in the context of normal levels of endogenous ?-syn and provides insight into the earliest neuroinflammatory events in PD.
Project description:A major hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD) is the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, and the causative mechanism is thought to be the activation of programmed neuronal death. Necroptosis is a regulated process of cell death triggered by RIPK1. Although the pathophysiology of PD has been studied extensively, the cellular mechanism underlying dopaminergic neuron death remains unclear. In this study, we detected a specific miRNA, miR-425, in response to MPTP toxicity and dopaminergic degeneration. In MPTP-treated mice, we observed necroptosis activation and miR-425 deficiency in the substantia nigra, which is correlated with dopaminergic neuron loss. This miRNA targeted RIPK1 transcripts and promoted the phosphorylation of MLKL and necroptosis. Similarly, in the brains of PD patients, miR-425 deficiency and necroptosis activation were also confirmed in dopaminergic neuron. Furthermore, we found that genetic knockdown of miR-425 aggravated MPTP-induced motor deficits and dopaminergic neurodegeneration via early upregulation of necroptotic genes. Intracerebral miR-425 mimics (AgomiR-425) treatment attenuated necroptosis activation and dopaminergic neuron loss, and improved locomotor behaviors. In conclusion, our study suggests that miR-425 deficiency triggers necroptosis of dopaminergic neurons, and targeting miR-425 in MPTP-treated mice restored dysfunctional dopaminergic neurodegeneration and ameliorated behavioral deficits. These findings identify brain delivery of miR-425 as a potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of PD.
Project description:alpha-Synuclein (SYN) is the major component of Lewy bodies, the neuropathological hallmarks of Parkinson's disease (PD). Missense mutations and multiplications of the SYN gene cause autosomal dominant inherited PD. Thus, SYN is implicated in the pathogenesis of PD. However, the mechanism whereby SYN promotes neurodegeneration remains unclear. Familial PD with SYN gene mutations are rare because the majority of PD is sporadic and emerging evidence indicates that sporadic PD may result from genetic and environmental risk factors including neuroinflammation. Hence, we examined the relationship between SYN dysfunction and neuroinflammation in mediating dopaminergic neurodegeneration in mice and dopaminergic neuronal cultures derived from wild-type SYN and mutant A53T SYN transgenic mice in a murine SYN-null (SYNKO) background (M7KO and M83KO, respectively). Stereotaxic injection of an inflammagen, lipopolysaccharide, into substantia nigra of these SYN genetically engineered mice induced similar inflammatory reactions. In M7KO and M83KO, but not in SYNKO mice, the neuroinflammation was associated with dopaminergic neuronal death and the accumulation of insoluble aggregated SYN as cytoplasmic inclusions in nigral neurons. Nitrated/oxidized SYN was detected in these inclusions and abatement of microglia-derived nitric oxide and superoxide provided significant neuroprotection in neuron-glia cultures from M7KO mice. These data suggest that nitric oxide and superoxide released by activated microglia may be mediators that link inflammation and abnormal SYN in mechanisms of PD neurodegeneration. This study advances understanding of the role of neuroinflammation and abnormal SYN in the pathogenesis of PD and opens new avenues for the discovery of more effective therapies for PD.
Project description:Animal models that accurately recapitulate the accumulation of alpha-synuclein (?-syn) inclusions, progressive neurodegeneration of the nigrostriatal system and motor deficits can be useful tools for Parkinson's disease (PD) research. The preformed fibril (PFF) synucleinopathy model in rodents generally displays these PD-relevant features, however, the magnitude and predictability of these events is far from established. We therefore sought to optimize the magnitude of ?-syn accumulation and nigrostriatal degeneration, and to understand the time course of both. Rats were injected unilaterally with different quantities of ?-syn PFFs (8 or 16??g of total protein) into striatal sites selected to concentrate ?-syn inclusion formation in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). Rats displayed an ?-syn PFF quantity-dependent increase in the magnitude of ipsilateral SNpc inclusion formation at 2?months and bilateral loss of nigral dopamine neurons at 6?months. Unilateral 16??g PFF injection also resulted in modest sensorimotor deficits in forelimb adjusting steps associated with degeneration at 6?months. Bilateral injection of 16??g ?-syn PFFs resulted in symmetric bilateral degeneration equivalent to the ipsilateral nigral degeneration observed following unilateral 16??g PFF injection (~50% loss). Bilateral PFF injections additionally resulted in alterations in several gait analysis parameters. These ?-syn PFF parameters can be applied to generate a reproducible synucleinopathy model in rats with which to study pathogenic mechanisms and vet potential disease-modifying therapies.
Project description:Inhibitory PAS domain protein (IPAS), a repressor of hypoxia-inducible factor-dependent transcription under hypoxia, was found to exert pro-apoptotic activity in oxidative stress-induced cell death. However, physiological and pathological processes associated with this activity are not known. Here we show that IPAS is a key molecule involved in neuronal cell death in Parkinson's disease (PD). IPAS was ubiquitinated by Parkin for proteasomal degradation following carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazone treatment. Phosphorylation of IPAS at Thr12 by PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) was required for ubiquitination to occur. Activation of the PINK1-Parkin pathway attenuated IPAS-dependent apoptosis. IPAS was markedly induced in the midbrain following 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) administration, and IPAS-deficient mice showed resistance to MPTP-induced degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). A significant increase in IPAS expression was found in SNpc neurons in patients with sporadic PD. These results indicate a mechanism of neurodegeneration in PD.