Region-specific deficits in dopamine, but not norepinephrine, signaling in a novel A30P α-synuclein BAC transgenic mouse.
Taylor TN., Potgieter D., Anwar S., Senior SL., Janezic S., Threlfell S., Ryan B., Parkkinen L., Deltheil T., Cioroch M., Livieratos A., Oliver PL., Jennings KA., Davies KE., Ansorge O., Bannerman DM., Cragg SJ., Wade-Martins R.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder classically characterized by the death of dopamine (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and by intracellular Lewy bodies composed largely of α-synuclein. Approximately 5-10% of PD patients have a familial form of Parkinsonism, including mutations in α-synuclein. To better understand the cell-type specific role of α-synuclein on DA neurotransmission, and the effects of the disease-associated A30P mutation, we generated and studied a novel transgenic model of PD. We expressed the A30P mutant form of human α-synuclein in a spatially-relevant manner from the 111kb SNCA genomic DNA locus on a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) insert on a mouse null (Snca-/-) background. The BAC transgenic mice expressed α-synuclein in tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons and expression of either A30P α-synuclein or wildtype α-synuclein restored the sensitivity of DA neurons to MPTP in resistant Snca-/- animals. A30P α-synuclein mice showed no Lewy body-like aggregation, and did not lose catecholamine neurons in substantia nigra or locus coeruleus. However, using cyclic voltammetry at carbon-fiber microelectrodes we identified a deficit in evoked DA release in the caudate putamen, but not in the nucleus accumbens, of SNCA-A30P Snca-/- mice but no changes to release of another catecholamine, norepinephrine (NE), in the NE-rich ventral bed nucleus of stria terminalis. SNCA-A30P Snca-/- mice had no overt behavioral impairments but exhibited a mild increase in wheel-running. In summary, this refined PD mouse model shows that A30P α-synuclein preferentially perturbs the dopaminergic system in the dorsal striatum, reflecting the region-specific change seen in PD.