Alpha-synuclein is a principal component of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, which are pathologic hall-marks of Parkinson's disease. Alpha-synuclein is generally considered to play a role in synaptic activity, although its function remains largely unknown. Accumulative evidence has been shown that aggregated extracellular alpha-synuclein fibrils can be internalized in the cells and enhance the intracellular formation of protein inclusions, leading to cell death. Conversely, there is emerging evidence suggesting that alpha-synuclein has also neuroprotective effects. In one study, extracellular alpha-synuclein treatment at nanomolar concentrations protected neurons against cellular stresses such as serum deprivation, oxidative stress, and excitotoxicity through the PI3/Akt signaling pathway. In a transgenic mouse model, the increased expression of alpha-synuclein prevented paraquat-induced dopaminergic cell degeneration. Thus far, it is uncertain as to whether alpha-synuclein plays a favorable role for neurons at nanomolar concentrations. Beom S. Jeon and team from Inje University Seoul Paik Hospital in South Korea for the first time provide evidence that extracellular alpha-synuclein enhances neuronal survival at a nanomolar concentration (50 and 100 nmol/L) and this effect is most likely mediated by the Akt pathway. Their study published in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 8, No. 35, 2013) can update the role of alpha-synuclein in neuronal cells and its involvement in Parkinson's disease and related diseases.
Article: " Nanomolar concentration of alpha-synuclein enhances dopaminergic neuronal survival via Akt pathway " by Ji-Young Kim1, Beom Seok. Jeon2, Han-Joon Kim2, Tae-Beom Ahn3 (1 Department of Neurology, Inje University Seoul Paik Hospital, Seoul, South Korea; 2 Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea; 3 Department of Neurology, Kyung Hee University Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea)
Kim JY, Jeon BS, Kim HJ, Ahn TB. Nanomolar concentration of alpha-synuclein enhances dopaminergic neuronal survival via Akt pathway. Neural Regen Res. 2013;8(35):3269-3274.
Contact: Meng Zhao
Neural Regeneration Research
AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.