Effects of innate immune receptor stimulation on extracellular α-synuclein uptake and degradation by brain resident cells.
ABSTRACT: Synucleinopathies are age-related neurological disorders characterized by the progressive deposition of α-synuclein (α-syn) aggregates and include Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Although cell-to-cell α-syn transmission is thought to play a key role in the spread of α-syn pathology, the detailed mechanism is still unknown. Neuroinflammation is another key pathological feature of synucleinopathies. Previous studies have identified several immune receptors that mediate neuroinflammation in synucleinopathies, such as Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2). However, the species of α-syn aggregates varies from study to study, and how different α-syn aggregate species interact with innate immune receptors has yet to be addressed. Therefore, we investigated whether innate immune receptors can facilitate the uptake of different species of α-syn aggregates. Here, we examined whether stimulation of TLRs could modulate the cellular uptake and degradation of α-syn fibrils despite a lack of direct interaction. We observed that stimulation of TLR2 in vitro accelerated α-syn fibril uptake in neurons and glia while delaying the degradation of α-syn in neurons and astrocytes. Internalized α-syn was rapidly degraded in microglia regardless of whether TLR2 was stimulated. However, cellular α-syn uptake and degradation kinetics were not altered by TLR4 stimulation. In addition, upregulation of TLR2 expression in a synucleinopathy mouse model increased the density of Lewy-body-like inclusions and induced morphological changes in microglia. Together, these results suggest that cell type-specific modulation of TLR2 may be a multifaceted and promising therapeutic strategy for synucleinopathies; inhibition of neuronal and astroglial TLR2 decreases pathogenic α-syn transmission, but activation of microglial TLR2 enhances microglial extracellular α-syn clearance.
Project description:Synucleinopathies of the aging population are an heterogeneous group of neurological disorders that includes Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and are characterized by the progressive accumulation of ?-synuclein in neuronal and glial cells. Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), a pattern recognition immune receptor, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of synucleinopathies because TLR2 is elevated in the brains of patients with PD and TLR2 is a mediator of the neurotoxic and pro-inflammatory effects of extracellular ?-synuclein aggregates. Therefore, blocking TLR2 might alleviate ?-synuclein pathological and functional effects. For this purpose, herein, we targeted TLR2 using a functional inhibitory antibody (anti-TLR2).Two different human ?-synuclein overexpressing transgenic mice were used in this study. ?-synuclein low expresser mouse (?-syn-tg, under the PDGF? promoter, D line) was stereotaxically injected with TLR2 overexpressing lentivirus to demonstrate that increment of TLR2 expression triggers neurotoxicity and neuroinflammation. ?-synuclein high expresser mouse (?-Syn-tg; under mThy1 promoter, Line 61) was administrated with anti-TLR2 to examine that functional inhibition of TLR2 ameliorates neuropathology and behavioral defect in the synucleinopathy animal model. In vitro ?-synuclein transmission live cell monitoring system was used to evaluate the role of TLR2 in ?-synuclein cell-to-cell transmission.We demonstrated that administration of anti-TLR2 alleviated ?-synuclein accumulation in neuronal and astroglial cells, neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, and behavioral deficits in an ?-synuclein tg mouse model of PD/DLB. Moreover, in vitro studies with neuronal and astroglial cells showed that the neuroprotective effects of anti-TLR2 antibody were mediated by blocking the neuron-to-neuron and neuron-to-astrocyte ?-synuclein transmission which otherwise promotes NF?B dependent pro-inflammatory responses.This study proposes TLR2 immunotherapy as a novel therapeutic strategy for synucleinopathies of the aging population.
Project description:Genetic, epidemiological and experimental evidence implicate lysosomal dysfunction in Parkinson's disease (PD) and related synucleinopathies. Investigate several mouse models of lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) and evaluate pathologies reminiscent of synucleinopathies. We obtained brain tissue from symptomatic mouse models of Gaucher, Fabry, Sandhoff, Niemann-Pick A (NPA), Hurler, Pompe and Niemann-Pick C (NPC) diseases and assessed for the presence of Lewy body-like pathology (proteinase K-resistant α-synuclein and tau aggregates) and neuroinflammation (microglial Iba1 and astrocytic GFAP) by immunofluorescence. All seven LSD models exhibited evidence of proteinopathy and/or inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS). However, these phenotypes were divergent. Gaucher and Fabry mouse models displayed proteinase K-resistant α-synuclein and tau aggregates but no neuroinflammation; whereas Sandhoff, NPA and NPC showed marked neuroinflammation and no overt proteinopathy. Pompe disease animals uniquely displayed widespread distribution of tau aggregates accompanied by moderate microglial activation. Hurler mice also demonstrated proteinopathy and microglial activation. The present study demonstrated additional links between LSDs and pathogenic phenotypes that are hallmarks of synucleinopathies. The data suggest that lysosomal dysregulation can contribute to brain region-specific protein aggregation and induce widespread neuroinflammation in the brain. However, only a few LSD models examined exhibited phenotypes consistent with synucleinopathies. While no model can recapitulate the complexity of PD, they can enable the study of specific pathways and mechanisms contributing to disease pathophysiology. The present study provides evidence that there are existing, previously unutilized mouse models that can be employed to study pathogenic mechanisms and gain insights into potential PD subtypes, helping to determine if they are amenable to pathway-specific therapeutic interventions.
Project description:Pathways to control the spreading of α-synuclein (α-syn) and associated neuropathology in Parkinson's disease (PD), multiple system atrophy (MSA) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are unclear. Here, we show that preformed α-syn fibrils (PFF) increase the association between TLR2 and MyD88, resulting in microglial activation. The TLR2-interaction domain of MyD88 (wtTIDM) peptide-mediated selective inhibition of TLR2 reduces PFF-induced microglial inflammation in vitro. In PFF-seeded A53T mice, the nasal administration of the wtTIDM peptide, NEMO-binding domain (wtNBD) peptide, or genetic deletion of TLR2 reduces glial inflammation, decreases α-syn spreading, and protects dopaminergic neurons by inhibiting NF-κB. In summary, α-syn spreading depends on the TLR2/MyD88/NF-κB pathway and it can be reduced by nasal delivery of wtTIDM and wtNBD peptides.
Project description:Malformed ?-Synuclein (?-syn) aggregates in neurons are released into the extracellular space, activating microglia to induce chronic neuroinflammation that further enhances neuronal damage in ?-synucleinopathies, such as Parkinson's disease. The mechanisms by which ?-syn aggregates activate and recruit microglia remain unclear, however. Here we show that ?-syn aggregates act as chemoattractants to direct microglia toward damaged neurons. In addition, we describe a mechanism underlying this directional migration of microglia. Specifically, chemotaxis occurs when ?-syn binds to integrin CD11b, leading to H2O2 production by NADPH oxidase. H2O2 directly attracts microglia via a process in which extracellularly generated H2O2 diffuses into the cytoplasm and tyrosine protein kinase Lyn, phosphorylates the F-actin-associated protein cortactin after sensing changes in the microglial intracellular concentration of H2O2. Finally, phosphorylated cortactin mediates actin cytoskeleton rearrangement and facilitates directional cell migration. These findings have significant implications, given that ?-syn-mediated microglial migration reaches beyond Parkinson's disease.
Project description:Lewy bodies (LBs) are complex, intracellular inclusions that are common pathological features of many neurodegenerative diseases. They consist largely of aggregated forms of the protein alpha-Synuclein (α-Syn), which misfolds to give rise to beta-sheet rich amyloid fibrils. The aggregation of monomers into fibrils occurs readily in vitro and pre-formed fibrils (PFFs) generated from recombinant α-Syn monomers are the basis of many models of LB diseases. These α-Syn PFFs recapitulate many pathological phenotypes in both cultured cells and animal models including the formation of α-Syn rich, insoluble aggregates, neuron loss, and motor deficits. However, it is not clear how closely α-Syn PFFs recapitulate the biological behavior of LB aggregates isolated directly from patients. Direct interrogation of the cellular response to LB-derived α-Syn has thus far been limited. Here we demonstrate that α-Syn aggregates derived from LB disease patients induce pathology characterized by a prevalence of large somatic inclusions that is distinct from the primarily neuritic pathology induced by α-Syn PFFs in our cultured neuron model. Moreover, these LB-derived aggregates can be amplified in vitro using recombinant α-Syn to generate aggregates that maintain the unique, somatic pathological phenotype of the original material. Amplified LB aggregates also showed greater uptake in cultured neurons and greater pathological burden and more rapid pathological spread in injected mouse brains, compared to α-Syn PFFs. Our work indicates that LB-derived α-Syn from diseased brains represents a distinct conformation species with unique biological activities that has not been previously observed in fully recombinant α-Syn aggregates and demonstrate a new strategy for improving upon α-Syn PFF models of synucleinopathies using amplified LBs.
Project description:Misfolded alpha-synuclein (?Syn) is a major constituent of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, which are pathological hallmarks of Parkinson's disease (PD). The contribution of ?Syn to PD is well established, but the detailed mechanism remains obscure. Using a model in which ?Syn aggregation in primary neurons was seeded by exogenously added, preformed ?Syn amyloid fibrils (PFF), we found that a majority of pathogenic ?Syn (indicated by serine 129 phosphorylated ?Syn, ps-?Syn) was membrane-bound and associated with mitochondria. In contrast, only a minuscule amount of physiological ?Syn was mitochondrial bound. In vitro, ?Syn PFF displayed a stronger binding to purified mitochondria than did ?Syn monomer, revealing a preferential mitochondria binding by aggregated ?Syn. This selective mitochondrial ps-?Syn accumulation was confirmed in other neuronal and animal ?Syn aggregation models that do not require exogenously added PFF and, more importantly, in postmortem brain tissues of patients suffering from PD and other neurodegenerative diseases with ?Syn aggregation (?-synucleinopathies). We also showed that the mitochondrial ps-?Syn accumulation was accompanied by defects in cellular respiration in primary neurons, suggesting a link to mitochondrial dysfunction. Together, our results show that, contrary to physiological ?Syn, pathogenic ?Syn aggregates preferentially bind to mitochondria, indicating mitochondrial dysfunction as the common downstream mechanism for ?-synucleinopathies. Our findings suggest a plausible model explaining the formation and the peculiar morphology of Lewy body and reveal that disrupting the interaction between ps-?Syn and the mitochondria is a therapeutic target for ?-synucleinopathies.
Project description:Synucleinopathies are neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson disease (PD), dementia with Lewy body (DLB), and multiple system atrophy (MSA) that involve deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein (α-syn) in the brain. The inoculation of α-syn aggregates derived from synucleinopathy or preformed fibrils (PFF) formed in vitro induces misfolding and deposition of endogenous α-syn. This is referred to as prion-like transmission, and the mechanism is still unknown. In this study, we label α-syn PFF with quantum dots and visualize their movement directly in acute slices of brain tissue inoculated with α-syn PFF seeds. Using this system, we find that the trafficking of α-syn seeds is dependent on fast axonal transport and the seed spreading is dependent on endocytosis and neuronal activity. We also observe pharmacological effects on α-syn seed spreading; clinically available drugs including riluzole are effective in reducing the spread of α-syn seeds and this effect is also observed in vivo. Our quantum-dot-labeled α-syn seed assay system combined with in vivo transmission experiment reveals an early phase of transmission, in which uptake and spreading of seeds occur depending on neuronal activity, and a later phase, in which seeds induce the propagation of endogenous misfolded α-syn.
Project description:α-Synuclein (α-Syn) is a key pathogenic protein in α-synucleinopathies including Parkinson disease (PD) and Dementia with Lewy Bodies. The aggregation of α-Syn is believed to be deleterious and a critical step leading to neuronal dysfunction and death. One of the factors that may contribute to the initial steps of this aggregation is crosslinking through transglutaminase 2 (TG2). We previously demonstrated that overexpression of TG2 exacerbates α-Syn toxicity in mice and yeast by increasing the higher-order species of α-Syn. Herein, we investigated whether deletion of the TG2 encoding gene could mitigate the toxicity of α-Syn in vivo. Compared with α-Syn transgenic (Syn<sup>Tg</sup>) mice, TG2 null /α-Syn transgenic mice (TG2<sup>KO</sup>/Syn<sup>Tg</sup>) exhibited a reduced amount of phosphorylated α-Syn aggregates and fewer proteinase K-resistant α-Syn aggregates in sections of brain tissue. Neuritic processes that are depleted in Syn<sup>Tg</sup> mice compared to wild-type mice were preserved in double TG2<sup>KO</sup>/Syn<sup>Tg</sup> mice. Additionally, the neuroinflammatory reaction to α-Syn was attenuated in TG2<sup>KO</sup>/Syn<sup>Tg</sup> animals. These neuropathological markers of diminished α-Syn toxicity in the absence of TG2 were associated with better motor performance on the rotarod and balance beam. These results suggest that deleting TG2 reduces the toxicity of α-Syn in vivo and improves the behavioral performance of Syn<sup>Tg</sup> mice. Accordingly, these findings collectively support pharmacological inhibition of TG2 as a potential disease modifying therapeutic strategy for α-synucleinopathies.
Project description:In recent years, it has become accepted that ?-synuclein (?Syn) has a key role in the microglia-mediated neuroinflammation, which accompanies the development of Parkinson's disease and other related disorders, such as Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Alzheimer's disease. Nevertheless, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying its pathological actions, especially in the sporadic forms of the diseases, are not completely understood. Intriguingly, several epidemiological and animal model studies have revealed a link between certain microbial infections and the onset or progression of sporadic forms of these neurodegenerative disorders. In this work, we have characterized the effect of toll-like receptor (TLR) stimulation on primary murine microglial cultures and analysed the impact of priming cells with extracellular wild-type (Wt) ?Syn on the subsequent TLR stimulation of cells with a set of TLR ligands. By assaying key interleukins and chemokines we report that specific stimuli, in particular Pam3Csk4 (Pam3) and single-stranded RNA40 (ssRNA), can differentially affect the TLR2/1- and TLR7-mediated responses of microglia when pre-conditioned with ?Syn by augmenting IL-6, MCP-1/CCL2 or IP-10/CXCL10 secretion levels. Furthermore, we report a skewing of ?Syn-primed microglia stimulated with ssRNA (TLR7) or Pam3 (TLR2/1) towards intermediate but at the same time differential, M1/M2 phenotypes. Finally, we show that the levels and intracellular location of activated caspase-3 protein change significantly in ?Syn-primed microglia after stimulation with these particular TLR agonists. Overall, we report a remarkable impact of non-aggregated ?Syn pre-sensitization of microglia on TLR-mediated immunity, a phenomenon that could contribute to triggering the onset of sporadic ?-synuclein-related neuropathologies.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are both characterized pathologically by the presence of neuronal inclusions termed Lewy bodies (LBs). A common feature found in LBs are aggregates of alpha-synuclein (alpha-Syn), and although it is now recognized that alpha-Syn is the major building block for these toxic filaments, the mechanism of how this occurs remains unknown. In the present study, we demonstrate that proteolytic processing of alpha-Syn by the protease calpain I leads to the formation of aggregated high-molecular weight species and adoption of a beta-sheet structure. To determine whether calpain-cleavage of alpha-Syn occurs in PD and DLB, we designed site-directed calpain-cleavage antibodies to alpha-Syn and tested their utility in several animal model systems. Detection of calpain-cleaved alpha-Syn was evident in mouse models of cerebral ischemia and PD and in a Drosophila model of PD. In the human PD and DLB brain, calpain-cleaved alpha-Syn antibodies immunolabeled LBs and neurites in the substantia nigra. Moreover, calpain-cleaved alpha-Syn fragments identified within LBs colocalized with activated calpain in neurons of the PD and DLB brains. These findings suggest that calpain I may participate in the disease-linked aggregation of alpha-Syn in various alpha-synucleinopathies.