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Neuron. 2005 Mar 24;45(6):847-59.

Mouse model of multiple system atrophy alpha-synuclein expression in oligodendrocytes causes glial and neuronal degeneration.

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Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


Transgenic (Tg) mice overexpressing human wild-type alpha-synuclein in oligodendrocytes under the control of the 2,' 3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNP) promoter are shown here to recapitulate features of multiple system atrophy (MSA), including the accumulation of filamentous human alpha-synuclein aggregates in oligodendrocytes linked to their degeneration and autophagocytosis of myelin. Significantly, endogenous mouse alpha-synuclein also accumulated in normal and degenerating axons and axon terminals in association with oligodendroglia and neuron loss and slowly progressive motor impairments. Our studies demonstrate that overexpression of alpha-synuclein in oligodendrocytes of mice results in MSA-like degeneration in the CNS and that alpha-synuclein inclusions in oligodendrocytes participate in the degeneration of neurons in MSA.

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