Send to

Choose Destination
Neurochem Res. 2008 May;33(5):902-11. Epub 2007 Nov 13.

Increased dopaminergic neuron sensitivity to 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) in transgenic mice expressing mutant A53T alpha-synuclein.

Author information

Taub Institute on Alzheimer's Disease and Aging, Department of Pathology, Columbia University, Black Bldg 513, 650 W 168th St, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Familial Parkinson's disease (PD) has been linked to point mutations and duplication of the alpha-synuclein gene and mutant alpha-synuclein expression increases the vulnerability of neurons to exogenous insults. In this study, we analyzed the levels of dopamine and its metabolites in the olfactory bulb (OB), and nigrostriatal regions of transgenic mice expressing human, mutant A53T alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn tg) and their non-transgenic (ntg) littermates using a sub-toxic, moderate dose of MPTP to determine if mutant human alpha-synuclein sensitizes the central dopaminergic systems to oxidative stress. We observed that after a single, sub-lethal MPTP injection, dopamine levels were reduced in striatum and SN in both the alpha-syn tg and ntg mice. In the olfactory bulb, a region usually resistant to MPTP toxicity, levels were reduced only in the alpha-syn tg mice. In addition, we identified a significant increase in dopamine metabolism in the alpha-syn transgenic, but not ntg mice. Finally, MPTP treatment of alpha-syn tg mice was associated with a marked elevation in the oxidative product, 3-nitrotyrosine that co-migrated with alpha-synuclein. Cumulatively, the data support the hypothesis that mutant alpha-synuclein sensitizes dopaminergic neurons to neurotoxic insults and is associated with greater oxidative stress. The alpha-syn tg line is therefore useful to study the genetic and environmental inter-relationship in PD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center