Are synucleinopathies prion-like disorders?
Summary of "Are synucleinopathies prion-like disorders?"
A shared neuropathological feature of idiopathic Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and multiple system atrophy is the development of intracellular aggregates of α-synuclein that gradually engage increasing parts of the nervous system. The pathogenetic mechanisms underlying these neurodegenerative disorders, however, are unknown. Several studies have highlighted similarities between classic prion diseases and these neurological proteinopathies. Specifically, identification of Lewy bodies in fetal mesencephalic neurons transplanted in patients with Parkinson's disease raised the hypothesis that α-synuclein, the main component of Lewy bodies, could be transmitted from the host brain to a graft of healthy neurons. These results and others have led to the hypothesis that a prion-like mechanism might underlie progression of synucleinopathy within the nervous system. We review experimental findings showing that misfolded α-synuclein can transfer between cells and, once transferred into a new cell, can act as a seed that recruits endogenous α-synuclein, leading to formation of larger aggregates. This model suggests that strategies aimed at prevention of cell-to-cell transfer of α-synuclein could retard progression of symptoms in Parkinson's disease and other synucleinopathies.
Neuronal Survival Unit, Wallenberg Neuroscience Centre, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Lancet neurology
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20846907
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(10)70213-1
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Abnormal isoform of prion proteins (PRIONS) resulting from a posttranslational modification of the cellular prion protein (PRPC PROTEINS). PrPSc are disease-specific proteins seen in certain human and animal neurodegenerative diseases (PRION DISEASES).
A group of genetic, infectious, or sporadic degenerative human and animal nervous system disorders associated with abnormal PRIONS. These diseases are characterized by conversion of the normal prion protein to an abnormal configuration via a post-translational process. In humans, these conditions generally feature DEMENTIA; ATAXIA; and a fatal outcome. Pathologic features include a spongiform encephalopathy without evidence of inflammation. The older literature occasionally refers to these as unconventional SLOW VIRUS DISEASES. (From Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1998 Nov 10;95(23):13363-83)
Wasting Disease, Chronic
A transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (prion disease) of DEER and elk characterized by chronic weight loss leading to death. It is thought to spread by direct contact between animals or through environmental contamination with the prion protein (PRIONS).
An autosomal dominant familial prion disease with a wide spectrum of clinical presentations including ATAXIA, spastic paraparesis, extrapyramidal signs, and DEMENTIA. Clinical onset is in the third to sixth decade of life and the mean duration of illness prior to death is five years. Several kindreds with variable clinical and pathologic features have been described. Pathologic features include cerebral prion protein amyloidosis, and spongiform or neurofibrillary degeneration. (From Brain Pathol 1998 Jul;8(3):499-513; Brain Pathol 1995 Jan;5(1):61-75)
Disorders of verbal and nonverbal communication caused by receptive or expressive LANGUAGE DISORDERS, cognitive dysfunction (e.g., MENTAL RETARDATION), psychiatric conditions, and HEARING DISORDERS.
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