Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by autonomic failure, parkinsonism, cerebellar ataxia, and oligodendrocytic accumulation of alpha-synuclein (αsyn). Oxidative stress has been linked to neuronal death in MSA and the mitochondrial toxin 3-nitropropionic acid (3NP) is known to enhance the motor deficits and neurodegeneration in transgenic mice models of MSA. However, the effect of 3NP administration on αsyn itself has not been studied. In this context, we examined the neuropathological effects of 3NP administration in αsyn transgenic mice expressing human αsyn (hαsyn) under the control of the myelin basic protein (MBP) promoter and the effect of this administration on posttranslational modifications of αsyn, on levels of total αsyn, and on its solubility. We demonstrate that 3NP administration altered levels of nitrated and oxidized αsyn in the MBP-hαsyn tg while not affecting global levels of phosphorylated or total αsyn. 3NP administration also exaggerated neurological deficits in the MBP-hαsyn tg mice, resulting in widespread neuronal degeneration and behavioral impairment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience