Mitochondria mass is low in mouse substantia nigra dopamine neurons: implications for Parkinson's disease.
ABSTRACT In Parkinson's disease (PD) there is a selective loss of certain midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons. The most vulnerable neurons reside in the substantia nigra zona compacta (SNC), whereas the DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and interfascicular (IF) nucleus are less vulnerable to degeneration. Many sporadic PD patients have a defect in mitochondria respiration, and some of the genes that cause PD are mitochondrial-related (e.g., PINK1, Parkin, DJ1). The present study sought to determine whether mitochondria mass is different in SNC neurons compared to other midbrain DA neurons and to non-DA neurons in the mouse. At the electron microscopic level, mitochondria in the SN DA neurons occupy 40% less of the soma and dendritic area than in the SN non-DA neurons. The area occupied by mitochondria in the SN DA neurons is also lower than in the VTA neurons, although not different from the IF neurons. The red nucleus somata have the largest percentage of the somata occupied by mitochondria (12%). Mitochondria size is related to somata size; the largest mitochondria are found in the red nucleus neurons and the smallest mitochondria are found in the IF neurons. At the light microscopic level, SNC, VTA and IF DA neurons have <50% of the cytoplasm immunostained with the mitochondrial antibody 1D6, whereas non-DA neurons in the same midbrain regions contain mitochondria areas up to >65% of the cytoplasm area. These data indicate that mitochondria size and mass are not the same for all neurons, and the SNC DA neurons have relatively low mitochondria mass. The low mitochondria mass in SNC DA neurons may contribute to the selective vulnerability of these neurons in certain rodent models of PD.
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ABSTRACT: Numerous disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) are attributed to the selective death of distinct neuronal cell populations. Interestingly, in many of these conditions, a specific subset of neurons is extremely prone to degeneration while other, very similar neurons are less affected or even spared for many years. In Parkinson's disease (PD), the motor manifestations are primarily linked to the selective, progressive loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). In contrast, the very similar DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) demonstrate a much lower degree of degeneration. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of differential DA vulnerability in PD has proven extremely challenging. Moreover, an increasing number of studies demonstrate that considerable molecular and electrophysiologic heterogeneity exists among the DA neurons within the SNpc as well as those within the VTA, adding yet another layer of complexity to the selective DA vulnerability observed in PD. The discovery of key pathways that regulate this differential susceptibility of DA neurons to degeneration holds great potential for the discovery of novel drug targets and the development of promising neuroprotective treatment strategies. This review provides an update on the molecular basis of the differential vulnerability of midbrain DA neurons in PD and highlights the most recent developments in this field.Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 01/2014; 8:152. · 4.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD), like many common age-related conditions, has been recognized to have a substantial genetic component. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) is a crucial factor to understanding the etiology of PD. LRRK2 is a large, widely expressed, multi-domain and multifunctional protein. LRRK2 mutations are the major cause to inherited and sporadic PD. In this review, we discuss the pathology and clinical features which show diversity and variability of LRRK2-associated PD. In addition, we do a thorough literature review and provide theoretical data for gene counseling. Further, we present the evidence linking LRRK2 to various possible pathogenic mechanism of PD such as alpha-synuclein, tau, inflammatory response, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, synaptic dysfunction as well as autophagy-lysosomal system. Based on the above work, we investigate activities both within GTPase and outside enzymatic regions in order to obtain a potential therapeutic approach to solve the LRRK2 problem.Molecular Neurodegeneration 11/2014; 9(1):47. · 5.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Accumulating data suggests that mitochondrial deficits may underline both sporadic and familial Parkinson's disease (PD) neurodegenerative process. Impairment of mitochondrial dynamics results in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, decreases mitochondrial membrane potential, and could potentiate the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria. Excessive mitochondrial fragmentation is associated with the pathology of sporadic PD. Therefore, we modulated mitochondria fusion and fission in different sporadic PD cellular models. We found alterations in two proteins known to regulate mitochondrial fusion and fission events (OPA1 and Drp1, respectively). OPA1 long isoform cleavage seems to be, at least in part, responsible for mitochondrial fragmented pattern observed in sporadic PD cellular models. Moreover, mitochondrial fragmentation can also occur due to an increase in Drp1 that is translocated into the mitochondria by phosphorylation. To disclose the relevance of these alterations to the fragmentation of the mitochondrial network, we overexpressed OPA1 and knock down Drp1. OPA1 overexpression did not rescue MPP(+)-induced increase in ROS. Nevertheless, Drp1 knockdown due to an increase in mitochondrial elongation and interconnectivity rescued mitochondrial membrane potential and decreased ROS production in sporadic PD cells. Overall, our findings suggest that Drp1-dependent mitochondrial fragmentation plays a crucial role in mediating mitochondrial DNA induced mitochondria abnormalities and cellular dysfunction in sporadic PD.Molecular Neurobiology 09/2014; · 5.29 Impact Factor