Transneuronal Propagation of Pathologic α-Synuclein from the Gut to the Brain Models Parkinson's Disease

Sangjune Kim, Seung Hwan Kwon, Tae-In Kam, Nikhil Panicker, Senthilkumar Karuppagounder, Saebom Lee, Jun Hee Lee, Wonjoong Richard Kim, Minjee Kook, Catherine Foss, Chentian Shen, H. Lee, Subhash Kulkarni, Pankaj Jay Pasricha, Gabsang Lee, Martin Gilbert Pomper, Valina Dawson, Ted M Dawson, Hanseok Seok Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Analysis of human pathology led Braak to postulate that α-synuclein (α-syn) pathology could spread from the gut to brain via the vagus nerve. Here, we test this postulate by assessing α-synucleinopathy in the brain in a novel gut-to-brain α-syn transmission mouse model, where pathological α-syn preformed fibrils were injected into the duodenal and pyloric muscularis layer. Spread of pathologic α-syn in brain, as assessed by phosphorylation of serine 129 of α-syn, was observed first in the dorsal motor nucleus, then in caudal portions of the hindbrain, including the locus coeruleus, and much later in basolateral amygdala, dorsal raphe nucleus, and the substantia nigra pars compacta. Moreover, loss of dopaminergic neurons and motor and non-motor symptoms were observed in a similar temporal manner. Truncal vagotomy and α-syn deficiency prevented the gut-to-brain spread of α-synucleinopathy and associated neurodegeneration and behavioral deficits. This study supports the Braak hypothesis in the etiology of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD). Gut injection of α-synuclein fibrils converts endogenous α-synuclein to a pathologic species that spreads to the brain. This leads to features of Parkinson's disease, and vagotomy and α-synuclein deficiency prevent the neuropathology and neurobehavioral deficits induced by transmitted pathological α-synuclein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-641.e7
JournalNeuron
Volume103
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 21 2019

Fingerprint

Synucleins
Parkinson Disease
Brain
Truncal Vagotomy
Pathology
Rhombencephalon
Vagus Nerve
Locus Coeruleus
Vagotomy
Dopaminergic Neurons
Serine
Phosphorylation
Injections

Keywords

  • Braak hypothesis
  • gut to brain transmission
  • Lewy body pathology
  • motor symptoms
  • neurodegeneration
  • non-motor symptoms
  • Parkinson's disease
  • pre-formed fibrils
  • vagus nerve
  • α-synuclein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Transneuronal Propagation of Pathologic α-Synuclein from the Gut to the Brain Models Parkinson's Disease. / Kim, Sangjune; Kwon, Seung Hwan; Kam, Tae-In; Panicker, Nikhil; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar; Lee, Saebom; Lee, Jun Hee; Kim, Wonjoong Richard; Kook, Minjee; Foss, Catherine; Shen, Chentian; Lee, H.; Kulkarni, Subhash; Pasricha, Pankaj Jay; Lee, Gabsang; Pomper, Martin Gilbert; Dawson, Valina; Dawson, Ted M; Ko, Hanseok Seok.

In: Neuron, Vol. 103, No. 4, 21.08.2019, p. 627-641.e7.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Lee, Jun Hee

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