Pathological changes in dopaminergic nerve cells of the substantia nigra and olfactory bulb in mice transgenic for truncated human alpha-synuclein(1-120): implications for Lewy body disorders.
Tofaris GK., Garcia Reitböck P., Humby T., Lambourne SL., O'Connell M., Ghetti B., Gossage H., Emson PC., Wilkinson LS., Goedert M., Spillantini MG.
Dysfunction of the 140 aa protein alpha-synuclein plays a central role in Lewy body disorders, including Parkinson's disease, as well as in multiple system atrophy. Here, we show that the expression of truncated human alpha-synuclein(1-120), driven by the rat tyrosine hydroxylase promoter on a mouse alpha-synuclein null background, leads to the formation of pathological inclusions in the substantia nigra and olfactory bulb and to a reduction in striatal dopamine levels. At the behavioral level, the transgenic mice showed a progressive reduction in spontaneous locomotion and an increased response to amphetamine. These findings suggest that the C-terminal of alpha-synuclein is an important regulator of aggregation in vivo and will help to understand the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of Lewy body disorders and multiple system atrophy.