Neurodegenerative phenotypes in an A53T α-synuclein transgenic mouse model are independent of LRRK2

João Paulo L Daher, Olga Pletnikova, Saskia Biskup, Alessandra Musso, Sandra Gellhaar, Dagmar Galter, Juan C. Troncoso, Michael K. Lee, Ted M. Dawson, Valina L. Dawson, Darren J. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mutations in the genes encoding LRRK2 and α-synuclein cause autosomal dominant forms of familial Parkinson's disease (PD). Fibrillar forms of α-synuclein are a major component of Lewy bodies, the intracytoplasmic proteinaceous inclusions that are a pathological hallmark of idiopathic and certain familial forms of PD. LRRK2 mutations cause late-onset familial PD with a clinical, neurochemical and, for the most part, neuropathological phenotype that is indistinguishable from idiopathic PD. Importantly, α-synuclein-positive Lewy bodies are the most common pathology identified in the brains of PD subjects harboring LRRK2 mutations. These observations may suggest that LRRK2 functions in a common pathway with α-synuclein to regulate its aggregation. To explore the potential pathophysiological interaction between LRRK2 and α-synuclein in vivo, we modulated LRRK2 expression in a well-established human A53T α-synuclein transgenic mouse model with transgene expression driven by the hindbrain-selective prion protein promoter. Deletion of LRRK2 or overexpression of human G2019S-LRRK2 has minimal impact on the lethal neurodegenerative phenotype that develops in A53T α-synuclein transgenic mice, including premature lethality, pre-symptomatic behavioral deficits and human α-synuclein or glial neuropathology. We also find that endogenous or human LRRK2 and A53T α-synuclein do not interact together to influence the number of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Taken together, our data suggest that α-synuclein-related pathology, which occurs predominantly in the hindbrain of this A53T α-synuclein mouse model, occurs largely independently from LRRK2 expression. These observations fail to provide support for a pathophysiological interaction of LRRK2 and α-synuclein in vivo, at least within neurons of the mouse hindbrain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdds057
Pages (from-to)2420-2431
Number of pages12
JournalHuman molecular genetics
Volume21
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2012

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