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Reducing C-terminal-truncated alpha-synuclein by immunotherapy attenuates neurodegeneration and propagation in Parkinson's disease-like models.

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J Neurosci 2014 Jul; 34(28):9441-54

Authors: Dora Games, Elvira Valera, Brian Spencer, Edward Rockenstein, Michael Mante, Anthony Adame, Christina Patrick, Kiren Ubhi, Silke Nuber, Patricia Sacayon, Wagner Zago, Peter Seubert, Robin Barbour, Dale Schenk, Eliezer Masliah

Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are common neurodegenerative disorders of the aging population, characterized by progressive and abnormal accumulation of ?-synuclein (?-syn). Recent studies have shown that C-terminus (CT) truncation and propagation of ?-syn play a role in the pathogenesis of PD/DLB. Therefore, we explored the effect of passive immunization against the CT of ?-syn in the mThy1-?-syn transgenic (tg) mouse model, which resembles the striato-nigral and motor deficits of PD. Mice were immunized with the new monoclonal antibodies 1H7, 5C1, or 5D12, all directed against the CT of ?-syn. CT ?-syn antibodies attenuated synaptic and axonal pathology, reduced the accumulation of CT-truncated ?-syn (CT-?-syn) in axons, rescued the loss of tyrosine hydroxylase fibers in striatum, and improved motor and memory deficits. Among them, 1H7 and 5C1 were most effective at decreasing levels of CT-?-syn and higher-molecular-weight aggregates. Furthermore, in vitro studies showed that preincubation of recombinant ?-syn with 1H7 and 5C1 prevented CT cleavage of ?-syn. In a cell-based system, CT antibodies reduced cell-to-cell propagation of full-length ?-syn, but not of the CT-?-syn that lacked the 118-126 aa recognition site needed for antibody binding. Furthermore, the results obtained after lentiviral expression of ?-syn suggest that antibodies might be blocking the extracellular truncation of ?-syn by calpain-1. Together, these results demonstrate that antibodies against the CT of ?-syn reduce levels of CT-truncated fragments of the protein and its propagation, thus ameliorating PD-like pathology and improving behavioral and motor functions in a mouse model of this disease.

PMID: 25009275 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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