Network dysfunction in ?-synuclein transgenic mice and human Lewy body dementia.
ABSTRACT: Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is associated with the accumulation of wild-type human ?-synuclein (SYN) in neurons and with prominent slowing of brain oscillations on electroencephalography (EEG). However, it remains uncertain whether the EEG abnormalities are actually caused by SYN.To determine whether SYN can cause neural network abnormalities, we performed EEG recordings and analyzed the expression of neuronal activity-dependent gene products in SYN transgenic mice. We also carried out comparative analyses in humans with DLB.We demonstrate that neuronal expression of SYN in transgenic mice causes a left shift in spectral power that closely resembles the EEG slowing observed in DLB patients. Surprisingly, SYN mice also had seizures and showed molecular hippocampal alterations indicative of aberrant network excitability, including calbindin depletion in the dentate gyrus. In postmortem brain tissues from DLB patients, we found reduced levels of calbindin mRNA in the dentate gyrus. Furthermore, nearly one quarter of DLB patients showed myoclonus, a clinical sign of aberrant network excitability that was associated with an earlier age of onset of cognitive impairments. In SYN mice, partial suppression of epileptiform activity did not alter their shift in spectral power. Furthermore, epileptiform activity in human amyloid precursor protein transgenic mice was not associated with a left shift in spectral power.We conclude that neuronal accumulation of SYN slows brain oscillations and, in parallel, causes aberrant network excitability that can escalate into seizure activity. The potential role of aberrant network excitability in DLB merits further investigation.
Project description:Abnormal intraneuronal accumulation of the presynaptic protein ?-synuclein (?-syn) is implicated in the etiology of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease with dementia (PDD). Recent work revealed that mice expressing human ?-syn with the alanine-53-threonine (A53T) mutation have a similar phenotype to the human condition, exhibiting long-term potentiation deficits, learning and memory deficits, and inhibitory hippocampal remodeling, all of which were reversed by genetic ablation of microtubule-associated protein tau. Significantly, memory deficits were associated with histological signs of network hyperactivity/seizures. Electrophysiological abnormalities are often seen in parkinsonian dementias. Baseline electroencephalogram (EEG) slowing is used as a supportive diagnostic feature in DLB and PDD, and patients with these diseases may exhibit indicators of broad network dysfunction such as sleep dysregulation, myoclonus, and seizures. Given the translational significance, we examined whether human A53T ?-syn expressing mice exhibit endogenous-tau-dependent EEG abnormalities, as measured with epidural electrodes over the frontal and parietal cortices. Using template-based waveform sorting, we determined that A53T mice have significantly high numbers of epileptiform events as early as 3-4 months of age and throughout life, and this effect is markedly attenuated in the absence of tau. Epileptic myoclonus occurred in half of A53T mice and was markedly reduced by tau ablation. In spectral analysis, tau ablation partially reduced EEG slowing in 6-7 month transgenic mice. We found abnormal sleeping patterns in transgenic mice that were more pronounced in older groups, but did not find evidence that this was influenced by tau genotype. Together, these data support the notion that tau facilitates A53T ?-syn-induced hyperexcitability that both precedes and coincides with associated synaptic, cognitive, and behavioral effects. Tau also contributes to some aspects of EEG slowing in A53T mice. Importantly, our work supports tau-based approaches as an effective early intervention in ?-synucleinopathies to treat aberrant network activity.
Project description:Ripples (80-150 Hz) recorded from clinical macroelectrodes have been shown to be an accurate biomarker of epileptogenic brain tissue. We investigated coupling between epileptiform spike phase and ripple amplitude to better understand the mechanisms that generate this type of pathologic ripple (pRipple) event.We quantified phase amplitude coupling (PAC) between epileptiform electroencephalography (EEG) spike phase and ripple amplitude recorded from intracranial depth macroelectrodes during episodes of sleep in 12 patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. PAC was determined by (1) a phasor transform that corresponds to the strength and rate of ripples coupled with spikes, and a (2) ripple-triggered average to measure the strength, morphology, and spectral frequency of the modulating and modulated signals. Coupling strength was evaluated in relation to recording sites within and outside the seizure-onset zone (SOZ).Both the phasor transform and ripple-triggered averaging methods showed that ripple amplitude was often robustly coupled with epileptiform EEG spike phase. Coupling was found more regularly inside than outside the SOZ, and coupling strength correlated with the likelihood a macroelectrode's location was within the SOZ (p < 0.01). The ratio of the rate of ripples coupled with EEG spikes inside the SOZ to rates of coupled ripples in non-SOZ was greater than the ratio of rates of ripples on spikes detected irrespective of coupling (p < 0.05). Coupling strength correlated with an increase in mean normalized ripple amplitude (p < 0.01), and a decrease in mean ripple spectral frequency (p < 0.05).Generation of low-frequency (80-150 Hz) pRipples in the SOZ involves coupling between epileptiform spike phase and ripple amplitude. The changes in excitability reflected as epileptiform spikes may also cause clusters of pathologically interconnected bursting neurons to grow and synchronize into aberrantly large neuronal assemblies.
Project description:Despite improvements in diagnostic criteria for dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), the ability to discriminate DLB from Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias remains suboptimal. Electroencephalography (EEG) is currently a supportive biomarker in the diagnosis of DLB. We performed a systematic review to better clarify the diagnostic and prognostic role of EEG in DLB and define the clinical correlates of various EEG features described in DLB. MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycINFO were searched using search strategies for relevant articles up to 6 August 2020. We included 43 studies comparing EEG in DLB with other diagnoses, 42 of them included a comparison of DLB with AD, 10 studies compared DLB with Parkinson's disease dementia, and 6 studies compared DLB with other dementias. The studies were visual EEG assessment (6), quantitative EEG (35) and event-related potential studies (2). The most consistent observation was the slowing of the dominant EEG rhythm (<8 Hz) assessed visually or through quantitative EEG, which was observed in ~90% of patients with DLB and only ~10% of patients with AD. Other findings based on qualitative rating, spectral power analyses, connectivity, microstate and machine learning algorithms were largely heterogenous due to differences in study design, EEG acquisition, preprocessing and analysis. EEG protocols should be standardized to allow replication and validation of promising EEG features as potential biomarkers in DLB.
Project description:Deletion of one or more synapsin genes in mice results in a spontaneous epilepsy. In these animals, seizures can be evoked by opening or moving the cage. Aim of the present study was to characterize the evolution of the epileptic phenotype by neurophysiological examination and behavioral observation in synapsin triple knock-out (Syn-TKO) mice. Syn-TKO mice were studied from 20 postnatal days (PND) up to 6 months of age by video-EEG recording and behavioral observation. Background EEG spectral analysis was performed and data were compared to WT animals. Syn-TKO revealed rare spontaneous seizures and increased susceptibility to evoked seizures in mice from 60 to 100 PND. Spontaneous and evoked seizures presented similar duration and morphology. At times, seizures were followed by a post-ictal phase characterized by a 4 Hz rhythmic activity and immobility of the animal. Spectral analysis of background EEG evidenced a slowing of the theta-alpha peak in Syn-TKO mice compared to WT mice within the period from PND 40 to 100. These data indicate that Syn-TKO mice do not exhibit a linear progression of the epileptic phenotype, with the period corresponding to a higher susceptibility to evoked seizures characterized by background EEG slowing. This aspect might be connected to brain dysfunction often associated to epilepsy in the interictal period.
Project description:Patients with Doublecortin (DCX) mutations have severe cortical malformations associated with mental retardation and epilepsy. Dcx knockout (KO) mice show no major isocortical abnormalities, but have discrete hippocampal defects. We questioned the functional consequences of these defects and report here that Dcx KO mice are hyperactive and exhibit spontaneous convulsive seizures. Changes in neuropeptide Y and calbindin expression, consistent with seizure occurrence, were detected in a large proportion of KO animals, and convulsants, including kainate and pentylenetetrazole, also induced seizures more readily in KO mice. We show that the dysplastic CA3 region in KO hippocampal slices generates sharp wave-like activities and possesses a lower threshold for epileptiform events. Video-EEG monitoring also demonstrated that spontaneous seizures were initiated in the hippocampus. Similarly, seizures in human patients mutated for DCX can show a primary involvement of the temporal lobe. In conclusion, seizures in Dcx KO mice are likely to be due to abnormal synaptic transmission involving heterotopic cells in the hippocampus and these mice may therefore provide a useful model to further study how lamination defects underlie the genesis of epileptiform activities.
Project description:The diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) versus Alzheimer's disease (AD) can be difficult especially early in the disease process. However, one inexpensive and non-invasive biomarker which could help is electroencephalography (EEG). Previous studies have shown that the brain network architecture assessed by EEG is altered in AD patients compared with age-matched healthy control people (HC). However, similar studies in Lewy body diseases, that is, DLB and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) are still lacking. In this work, we (a) compared brain network connectivity patterns across conditions, AD, DLB and PDD, in order to infer EEG network biomarkers that differentiate between these conditions, and (b) tested whether opting for weighted matrices led to more reliable results by better preserving the topology of the network. Our results indicate that dementia groups present with reduced connectivity in the EEG ? band, whereas DLB shows weaker posterior-anterior patterns within the ?-band and greater network segregation within the ?-band compared with AD. Weighted network measures were more consistent across global thresholding levels, and the network properties reflected reduction in connectivity strength in the dementia groups. In conclusion, ?- and ?-band network measures may be suitable as biomarkers for discriminating DLB from AD, whereas the ?-band network is similarly affected in DLB and PDD compared with HC. These variations may reflect the impairment of attentional networks in Parkinsonian diseases such as DLB and PDD.
Project description:Progressive accumulation of the pre-synaptic protein ?-synuclein (?-syn) has been strongly associated with the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders of the aging population such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and multiple system atrophy. While the precise mechanisms are not fully understood, alterations in kinase pathways including that of mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38 have been proposed to play a role. In AD, p38? activation has been linked to neuro-inflammation while alterations in p38? have been associated with tau phosphorylation. Although p38 has been studied in AD, less is known about its role in DLB/PD and other ?-synucleinopathies. For this purpose, we investigated the expression of the p38 family in brains from ?-syn overexpressing transgenic mice (?-syn Tg: Line 61) and patients with DLB/PD. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that in healthy human controls and non-Tg mice, p38? associated with neurons and astroglial cells and p38? localized to pre-synaptic terminals. In DLB and ?-syn Tg brains, however, p38? levels were increased in astroglial cells while p38? immunostaining was redistributed from the synaptic terminals to the neuronal cell bodies. Double immunolabeling further showed that p38? colocalized with ?-syn aggregates in DLB patients, and immunoblot and qPCR analysis confirmed the increased levels of p38? and p38?. ?1-syntrophin, a synaptic target of p38?, was present in the neuropil and some neuronal cell bodies in human controls and non-Tg mice. In DLB and and Tg mice, however, ?1-syntrophin was decreased in the neuropil and instead colocalized with ?-syn in intra-neuronal inclusions. In agreement with these findings, in vitro studies showed that ?-syn co-immunoprecipitates with p38?, but not p38?. These results suggest that ?-syn might interfere with the p38? pathway and play a role in the mechanisms of synaptic dysfunction in DLB/PD.
Project description:Glucose is the ultimate substrate for most brain activities that use carbon, including synthesis of the neurotransmitters glutamate and ?-aminobutyric acid via mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Brain metabolism and neuronal excitability are thus interdependent. However, the principles that govern their relationship are not always intuitive because heritable defects of brain glucose metabolism are associated with the paradoxical coexistence, in the same individual, of episodic neuronal hyperexcitation (seizures) with reduced basal cerebral electrical activity. One such prototypic disorder is pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) deficiency (PDHD). PDH is central to metabolism because it steers most of the glucose-derived flux into the TCA cycle. To better understand the pathophysiology of PDHD, we generated mice with brain-specific reduced PDH activity that paralleled salient human disease features, including cerebral hypotrophy, decreased amplitude electroencephalogram (EEG), and epilepsy. The mice exhibited reductions in cerebral TCA cycle flux, glutamate content, spontaneous, and electrically evoked in vivo cortical field potentials and gamma EEG oscillation amplitude. Episodic decreases in gamma oscillations preceded most epileptiform discharges, facilitating their prediction. Fast-spiking neuron excitability was decreased in brain slices, contributing to in vivo action potential burst prolongation after whisker pad stimulation. These features were partially reversed after systemic administration of acetate, which augmented cerebral TCA cycle flux, glutamate-dependent synaptic transmission, inhibition and gamma oscillations, and reduced epileptiform discharge duration. Thus, our results suggest that dysfunctional excitability in PDHD is consequent to reduced oxidative flux, which leads to decreased neuronal activation and impaired inhibition, and can be mitigated by an alternative metabolic substrate.
Project description:We investigated for quantitative EEG (QEEG) differences between Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) patients and healthy controls, and for QEEG signatures of cognitive fluctuations (CFs) in DLB.We analysed eyes-closed, resting state EEGs from 18 AD, 17 DLB and 17 PDD patients with mild dementia, and 21 age-matched controls. Measures included spectral power, dominant frequency (DF), frequency prevalence (FP), and temporal DF variability (DFV), within defined EEG frequency bands and cortical regions.DLB and PDD patients showed a leftward shift in the power spectrum and DF. AD patients showed greater DFV compared to the other groups. In DLB patients only, greater DFV and EEG slowing were correlated with CFs, measured by the clinician assessment of fluctuations (CAF) scale. The diagnostic accuracy of the QEEG measures was 94% (90.4-97.9%), with 92.26% (80.4-100%) sensitivity and 83.3% (73.6-93%) specificity.Although greater DFV was only shown in the AD group, within the DLB group a positive DFV - CF correlation was found. QEEG measures could classify DLB and AD patients with high sensitivity and specificity.The findings add to an expanding literature suggesting that EEG is a viable diagnostic and symptom biomarker in dementia, particularly DLB.
Project description:Neurosin is a predominant serine protease in the central nervous system (CNS) and has been shown to play a role in the clearance of ?-synuclein (?-syn) which is centrally involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Although it has been previously shown that neurosin and ?-syn colocalize and that neurosin degrades ?-syn aggregates in vitro, it is not clear if neurosin is dysregulated in the brains of patients with PD/DLB and to what extent delivery of neurosin into the CNS might ameliorate the deficits associated with ?-syn accumulation in vivo. We analyzed the levels of neurosin in the brains of patients with PD/DLB and in ?-syn transgenic (tg) models. With increased accumulation of ?-syn, we observed decreased neurosin expression. Lentiviral vector (LV) driven expression of neurosin in neuronal cell cultures reduced the accumulation of wild type but not A53T ?-syn and prevented ?-syn associated toxicity. Neuropathological analysis following delivery of LV-Neurosin to ?-syn tg mice resulted in reduced accumulation of ?-syn and reversal of neurodegenerative alterations in wild type but not A53T ?-syn tg mice. Therefore, viral vector driven expression of neurosin may warrant further investigation as a potential therapeutic tool for DLB.