The parkinson's disease-related protein dj-1 protects dopaminergic neurons in vivo and cultured cells from alpha-synuclein and 6-hydroxydopamine toxicity

Sara Batelli, Roberto William Invernizzi, Alessandro Negro, Eleonora Calcagno, Serena Rodilossi, Gianluigi Forloni, Diego Albani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Dopaminergic degeneration is a major finding in brains of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), together with Lewy bodies, intraneuronal inclusions mainly composed of the fibrillogenic protein -synuclein (-syn). The familial-PD-related protein DJ-1 was reported to reduce dopaminergic degeneration triggered by -syn or by the dopaminergic-selective neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). Objective: The aim was to further investigate the role of DJ-1 in dopaminergic degeneration and to see whether a cell-permeable recombinant form of DJ-1 (TAT-DJ-1) could restore dopamine depletion in vivo, thus representing an innovative therapeutic approach. Methods: We developed in vitro (PC12/TetOn cells and mouse primary mesencephalic neurons) and in vivo models [including DJ-1 knockout (-/-) mice] to investigate DJ-1 in dopaminergic degeneration. Results: We found that in PC12/TetOn cells overexpressing -syn with the familial-PD linked mutation A30P, DJ-1 silencing increased -syn (A30P) toxicity. Primary mesencephalic neurons from DJ-1 (-/-) mice were more vulnerable to a cell-permeable form of -syn (TAT-syn) and to 6-OHDA. Intrastriatally administered TAT-DJ-1 reduced 6-OHDA toxicity in vivo in C57BL/6 mice. Finally, when we injected TAT-syn (A30P) in the striatum of DJ-1 (-/-) animals, dopamine was depleted more than in the control strain. Conclusion: DJ-1 appears to have a protective role against dopaminergic degeneration triggered by -syn or 6-OHDA, reinforcing the possible therapeutic importance of this protein in PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-23
Number of pages11
JournalNeurodegenerative Diseases
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 6 2015

Keywords

  • -Synuclein
  • 6-Hydroxydopamine
  • DJ-1 protein
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Medicine(all)

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