The morphological basis of mental dysfunction in Parkinson's disease.
ABSTRACT Mental dysfunction including dementia in Parkinson's disease (PD), the incidence of which averages 20-40%, is suggested to have six-fold lifetime risk compared to age-matched controls. It is caused by a variety of functional and pathological lesions ranging from damage to subcortical-cortical networks to cortical and limbic Lewy body and neuritic Alzheimer pathologies, the relationship and impact of which are still under discussion. Based on two consecutive autopsy series of PD, with prevalence of cognitive impairment of 33% to 35.7%, its essential morphological changes and their impact on the natural history (survival) are discussed. Whereas cortical Lewy body stages 5 and 6 without additional pathologies only rarely were associated with dementia, around 20% of demented PD cases were classified as dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) with variable degrees of Alzheimer (AD) pathology, and around one third showed severe neuritic AD lesions which occurred in PD patients with later disease onset and significantly shorter survival. Frequent close relations in the severity between alpha-synuclein and tau-pathologies suggest synergistic reaction and common underlying pathogenesis of both lesions. Clinico-pathological studies in PD showed a significantly negative relation between cognitive impairment and neuritic AD lesions somewhat different from that in AD, suggesting that neuritic AD pathology, either alone or in combination with cortical and limbic Lewy bodies, are major causes of mental and cognitive dysfunction in PD.
Article: DJ-1 modulates alpha-synuclein aggregation state in a cellular model of oxidative stress: relevance for Parkinson's disease and involvement of HSP70.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative pathology whose molecular etiopathogenesis is not known. Novel contributions have come from familial forms of PD caused by alterations in genes with apparently unrelated physiological functions. The gene coding for alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn) (PARK1) has been investigated as alpha-syn is located in Lewy bodies (LB), intraneuronal inclusions in the substantia nigra (SN) of PD patients. A-syn has neuroprotective chaperone-like and antioxidant functions and is involved in dopamine storage and release. DJ-1 (PARK7), another family-PD-linked gene causing an autosomal recessive form of the pathology, shows antioxidant and chaperone-like activities too. The present study addressed the question whether alpha-syn and DJ-1 interact functionally, with a view to finding some mechanism linking DJ-1 inactivation and alpha-syn aggregation and toxicity. We developed an in vitro model of alpha-syn toxicity in the human neuroblastoma cell line SK-N-BE, influencing DJ-1 and alpha-syn intracellular concentrations by exogenous addition of the fusion proteins TAT-alpha-syn and TAT-DJ-1; DJ-1 was inactivated by the siRNA method. On a micromolar scale TAT-alpha-syn aggregated and triggered neurotoxicity, while on the nanomolar scale it was neuroprotective against oxidative stress (induced by H(2)O(2) or 6-hydroxydopamine). TAT-DJ-1 increased the expression of HSP70, while DJ-1 silencing made SK-N-BE cells more susceptible to oxidative challenge, rendering TAT-alpha-syn neurotoxic at nanomolar scale, with the appearance of TAT-alpha-syn aggregates. DJ-1 inactivation may thus promote alpha-syn aggregation and the related toxicity, and in this model HSP70 is involved in the antioxidant response and in the regulation of alpha-syn fibril formation.PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(4):e1884. · 4.09 Impact Factor