About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Researchers Gain Insights Into Spread Of Parkinson's Disease In The Brain

by Aruna on July 30, 2009 at 2:18 PM
Font : A-A+

Researchers Gain Insights Into Spread Of Parkinson's Disease In The Brain

Researchers have gained fresh insights into how a mechanism whereby the formation of aggregates called Lewy bodies, a hallmark of Parkinson's, spreads in the brain as the disease progresses.

Writing about their work in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea, claim that theirs is the first study to show neuron-to-neuron transmission of alpha-synuclein, the synaptic protein the accumulation of which results in the formation of Lewy bodies in the brain.


"The discovery of cell-to-cell transmission of this protein may explain how alpha-synuclein aggregates can pass to new, healthy cells. We demonstrated how alpha-synuclein is taken up by neighboring cells, including grafted neuronal precursor cells, a mechanism that may cause Lewy bodies to spread to different brain structures," said first author Paula Desplats, project scientist in UC San Diego's Department of Neurosciences.

The researchers say that their findings will impact research into stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease.

"Our findings indicate that the stem cells used to replace lost or damaged cells in the brains of Parkinson's disease patients are also susceptible to degeneration. Knowledge of the molecular basis of the intercellular transmission of alpha-synuclein may result in improved stem-cell based therapies with long-lasting benefits, by preventing the grafted cells to uptake a-synuclein or by making them more efficient in clearing the accumulated alpha-synuclein ," said Dr. Eliezer Masliah, professor of neurosciences and pathology at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Working in collaboration with South Korean expert Seung-Jae Lee, the researchers first looked at neural precursor cells in culture, co-culturing them with neuronal cells expressing alpha-synuclein.

After 24 to 48 hours, the aggregated alpha-synuclein was evident in the precursor cells, results suggesting cell-to-cell transmission.

The research team used specific inhibitors, and discovered that alpha-synuclein is transmitted via endocytosis, the normal process by which cells absorb proteins from the extracellular media by engulfing them within their cell membrane. Blockage of the endocytic pathway resulted in lesser accumulation of alpha-synuclein.

The researchers also found that failure of the quality-control systems of the cell contributes to the observed accumulation of alpha-synuclein in recipient cells.

This, according to them, is due to inhibited activity of cell particles called lysosomes, which would usually degrade and remove aggregates, resulting in their increased formation.

The researchers then studied whether alpha-synuclein could be transmitted directly from host to grafted cells in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease. They grafted the brains of the mouse model with fresh, healthy stem cells. Within four weeks, cells containing Lewy body-like masses were quite common, supporting the cell-to cell transmission mechanism.

Source: ANI

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Ten Fruits for Diabetics
Natural Supplements Help Reverse Hair Loss during Menopause
Ways to Manage Stress during COVID-19 Pandemic
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Parkinsons Disease Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Brain Brain Facts Nutritional Management of Parkinsons disease 

Recommended Reading
Agent Orange And Herbicides Exposure Linked To Heart And Parkinson's Disease
A new report from the Institute of Medicine finds suggestive but limited evidence that exposure to ....
A Powerful Instrument For Parkinson's Treatment On The Anvil
Researchers at Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are developing a powerful ......
Individuals With Pesticide Levels In Blood At Risk For Developing Parkinson's Disease
People with Parkinson's disease have significantly higher blood levels of a particular pesticide ......
Nutritional Management of Parkinsons disease
Parkinson's disease is a brain disorder which leads to many other related effects. Nutrition plays a...
Parkinsons Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive dopamine brain cells loss. ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use