Alpha-synuclein preformed fibrils induce cellular senescence in parkinson’s disease models

Dinesh Kumar Verma, Bo Am Seo, Anurupa Ghosh, Shi Xun Ma, Karina Hernandez-Quijada, Julie K. Andersen, Han Seok Ko, Yong Hwan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emerging evidence indicates that cellular senescence could be a critical inducing factor for aging-associated neurodegenerative disorders. However, the involvement of cellular senescence remains unclear in Parkinson’s disease (PD). To determine this, we assessed the effects of α-synuclein preformed fibrils (α-syn PFF) or 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) on changes in cellular senescence markers, employing α-syn PFF treated-dopaminergic N27 cells, primary cortical neurons, astrocytes and microglia and α-syn PFF-injected mouse brain tissues, as well as human PD patient brains. Our results demonstrate that α-syn PFF-induced toxicity reduces the levels of Lamin B1 and HMGB1, both established markers of cellular senescence, in correlation with an increase in the levels of p21, a cell cycle-arrester and senescence marker, in both reactive astrocytes and microglia in mouse brains. Using Western blot and immunohistochemistry, we found these cellular senescence markers in reactive astrocytes as indicated by enlarged cell bodies within GFAP-positive cells and Iba1-positive activated microglia in α-syn PFF injected mouse brains. These results indicate that PFF-induced pathology could lead to astrocyte and/or microglia senescence in PD brains, which may contribute to neuropathology in this model. Targeting senescent cells using senolytics could therefore constitute a viable therapeutic option for the treatment of PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1694
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Alpha-synuclein preformed fibrils
  • Cellular senescence
  • HMGB1
  • Lamin B1
  • Microglia activation
  • Reactive astrocytes
  • SATB1
  • p21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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