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α-Synuclein induced toxicity in brain stem serotonin neurons mediated by an AAV vector driven by the tryptophan hydroxylase promoter

Shin, Eunju ORCID:, Wan, Oi Wan, Mattasson, Bengt, Caudal, Dorian, Svenningsson, Per and Bjorklund, Anders 2016. α-Synuclein induced toxicity in brain stem serotonin neurons mediated by an AAV vector driven by the tryptophan hydroxylase promoter. Scientific Reports 6 , 26285. 10.1038/srep26285

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We studied the impact of α-synuclein overexpression in brainstem serotonin neurons using a novel vector construct where the expression of human wildtype α-synuclein is driven by the tryptophan hydroxylase promoter, allowing expression of α-synuclein at elevated levels, and with high selectivity, in serotonergic neurons. α-Synuclein induced degenerative changes in axons and dendrites, displaying a distorted appearance, suggesting accumulation and aggregation of α-synuclein as a result of impaired axonal transport, accompanied by a 40% loss of terminals, as assessed in the hippocampus. Tissue levels of serotonin and its major metabolite 5-HIAA remained largely unaltered, and the performance of the α-synuclein overexpressing rats in tests of spatial learning (water maze), anxiety related behavior (elevated plus maze) and depressive-like behavior (forced swim test) was not different from control, suggesting that the impact of the developing axonal pathology on serotonin neurotransmission was relatively mild. Overexpression of α-synuclein in the raphe nuclei, combined with overexpression in basal forebrain cholinergic neurons, resulted in more pronounced axonal pathology and significant impairment in the elevated plus maze. We conclude that α-synuclein pathology in serotonergic or cholinergic neurons alone is not sufficient to impair non-motor behaviors, but that it is their simultaneous involvement that determines severity of such symptoms.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Macmillan
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 June 2016
Date of Acceptance: 27 April 2016
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 11:18

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