Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Invest. 2011 Feb;121(2):715-25. doi: 10.1172/JCI43366. Epub 2011 Jan 18.

α-Synuclein propagates from mouse brain to grafted dopaminergic neurons and seeds aggregation in cultured human cells.

Author information

Neuronal Survival Unit, Wallenberg Neuroscience Center, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.


Post-mortem analyses of brains from patients with Parkinson disease who received fetal mesencephalic transplants show that α-synuclein-containing (α-syn-containing) Lewy bodies gradually appear in grafted neurons. Here, we explored whether intercellular transfer of α-syn from host to graft, followed by seeding of α-syn aggregation in recipient neurons, can contribute to this phenomenon. We assessed α-syn cell-to-cell transfer using microscopy, flow cytometry, and high-content screening in several coculture model systems. Coculturing cells engineered to express either GFP- or DsRed-tagged α-syn resulted in a gradual increase in double-labeled cells. Importantly, α-syn-GFP derived from 1 neuroblastoma cell line localized to red fluorescent aggregates in other cells expressing DsRed-α-syn, suggesting a seeding effect of transmitted α-syn. Extracellular α-syn was taken up by cells through endocytosis and interacted with intracellular α-syn. Next, following intracortical injection of recombinant α-syn in rats, we found neuronal uptake was attenuated by coinjection of an endocytosis inhibitor. Finally, we demonstrated in vivo transfer of α-syn between host cells and grafted dopaminergic neurons in mice overexpressing human α-syn. In summary, intercellularly transferred α-syn interacts with cytoplasmic α-syn and can propagate α-syn pathology. These results suggest that α-syn propagation is a key element in the progression of Parkinson disease pathology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Society for Clinical Investigation Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center