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Mov Disord. 2012 May;27(6):716-9. doi: 10.1002/mds.25020. Epub 2012 May 1.

Is alpha-synuclein in the colon a biomarker for premotor Parkinson's disease? Evidence from 3 cases.

Author information

1
Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush Medical College, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA. Kathleen_M_Shannon@rush.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite clinicopathological evidence that Parkinson's disease (PD) may begin in peripheral tissues, identification of premotor Parkinson's disease is not yet possible. Alpha-synuclein aggregation underlies Parkinson's disease pathology, and its presence in peripheral tissues may be a reliable disease biomarker.

OBJECTIVE:

We sought evidence of alpha-synuclein pathology in colonic tissues before the development of characteristic Parkinson's disease motor symptoms.

METHODS:

Old colon biopsy samples were available for three subjects with PD. Biopsies were obtained 2-5 years before PD onset. We performed immunohistochemistry studies for the presence of alpha-synuclein and Substance P in these samples.

RESULTS:

All subjects showed immunostaining for alpha-synuclein (two, five and two years before first motor Parkinson's disease symptom). No similar alpha-synuclein immunostaining was seen in 23 healthy controls. Staining of samples for substance P suggested colocalization of alpha-synuclein and substance P in perikarya and neurites.

CONCLUSIONS:

This is the first demonstration of alpha-synuclein in colon tissue prior to onset of PD. Additional study is required to determine whether colonic mucosal biopsy may be a biomarker of premotor PD.

Comment in

PMID:
22550057
DOI:
10.1002/mds.25020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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