Unregulated cytosolic dopamine causes neurodegeneration associated with oxidative stress in mice
ABSTRACT The role of dopamine as a vulnerability factor and a toxic agent in Parkinson's disease (PD) is still controversial, yet the presumed dopamine toxicity is partly responsible for the "DOPA-sparing" clinical practice that avoids using L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA), a dopamine precursor, in early PD. There is a lack of studies on animal models that directly isolate dopamine as one determining factor in causing neurodegeneration. To address this, we have generated a novel transgenic mouse model in which striatal neurons are engineered to take up extracellular dopamine without acquiring regulatory mechanisms found in dopamine neurons. These mice developed motor dysfunctions and progressive neurodegeneration in the striatum within weeks. The neurodegeneration was accompanied by oxidative stress, evidenced by substantial oxidative protein modifications and decrease in glutathione. Ultrastructural morphologies of degenerative cells suggest necrotic neurodegeneration. Moreover, L-DOPA accelerated neurodegeneration and worsened motor dysfunction. In contrast, reducing dopamine input to striatum by lesioning the medial forebrain bundle attenuated motor dysfunction. These data suggest that pathology in genetically modified striatal neurons depends on their dopamine supply. These neurons were also supersensitive to neurotoxin. A very low dose of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (5 mg/kg) caused profound neurodegeneration of striatal neurons, but not midbrain dopamine neurons. Our results provide the first in vivo evidence that chronic exposure to unregulated cytosolic dopamine alone is sufficient to cause neurodegeneration. The present study has significant clinical implications, because dopamine replacement therapy is the mainstay of PD treatment. In addition, our model provides an efficient in vivo approach to test therapeutic agents for PD.
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ABSTRACT: The dopamine transporter is a key protein responsible for regulating dopamine homeostasis. Its function is to transport dopamine from the extracellular space into the presynaptic neuron. Studies have suggested that accumulation of dopamine in the cytosol can trigger oxidative stress and neurotoxicity. Previously, ectopic expression of the dopamine transporter was shown to cause damage in non-dopaminergic neurons due to their inability to handle cytosolic dopamine. However, it is unknown whether increasing dopamine transporter activity will be detrimental to dopamine neurons that are inherently capable of storing and degrading dopamine. To address this issue, we characterized transgenic mice that over-express the dopamine transporter selectively in dopamine neurons. We report that dopamine transporter over-expressing (DAT-tg) mice display spontaneous loss of midbrain dopamine neurons that is accompanied by increases in oxidative stress markers, 5-S-cysteinyl-dopamine and 5-S-cysteinyl-DOPAC. In addition, metabolite-to-dopamine ratios are increased and VMAT2 protein expression is decreased in the striatum of these animals. Furthermore, DAT-tg mice also show fine motor deficits on challenging beam traversal that are reversed with l-DOPA treatment. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that even in neurons that routinely handle dopamine, increased uptake of this neurotransmitter through the dopamine transporter results in oxidative damage, neuronal loss and l-DOPA reversible motor deficits. In addition, DAT over-expressing animals are highly sensitive to MPTP-induced neurotoxicity. The effects of increased dopamine uptake in these transgenic mice could shed light on the unique vulnerability of dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Neurobiology of Disease 10/2014; 74C:66-75. DOI:10.1016/j.nbd.2014.10.016 · 5.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Active transport of neurotransmitters into synaptic vesicles is required for their subsequent exocytotic release. In the monoamine system, this process is carried out by the vesicular monoamine transporters (VMAT1 and VMAT2). These proteins are responsible for vesicular packaging of dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and histamine. These proteins are essential for proper neuronal function; however, compared to their plasma membrane counterparts, there are few drugs available that target these vesicular proteins. This is partly due to the added complexity of crossing the plasma membrane, but also to the technical difficulty of assaying for vesicular uptake in high throughput. Until recently, reagents to enable high throughput screening for function of these vesicular neurotransmitter transporters have not been available. Fortunately, novel compounds and methods are now making such screening possible; thus, a renewed focus on these transporters as potential targets is timely and necessary.Neurochemistry International 01/2014; 73. DOI:10.1016/j.neuint.2013.12.003 · 2.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: One dimensional gel electrophoresis was used to separate proteins from the saliva of Rhipicephalus sanguineus female ticks fed on rabbits. Gel slices were subjected to tryptic digestion and analyzed by reversed-phase HPLC followed by MS/MS analysis. The data were compared to a database of salivary proteins of the same tick and to the predicted proteins of the host. Saliva was obtained by either pilocarpine or dopamine stimulation of partially fed ticks. Electrophoretic separations of both yielded products that were identified by mass spectrometry, although the pilocarpine-derived sample was of much better quality. The majority of identified proteins were of rabbit origin, indicating the recycling of the host proteins in the tick saliva, including hemoglobin, albumin, haptoglobin, transferring, and a plasma serpin. The few proteins found that were previously associated with parasitism and blood feeding include 2 glycine-rich, cement-like proteins, 2 lipocalins, and a thyropin protease inhibitor. Among other of the 19 tick proteins identified, albeit with undefined roles, were SPARC and cyclophilin A. This catalog provides a resource that can be mined for secreted molecules that play a role in tick-host interactions.Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 09/2013; 4(6). DOI:10.1016/j.ttbdis.2013.05.001 · 2.88 Impact Factor