Autophagic dysregulation and lysosomal impairment have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease, partly due to the identification of mutations in multiple genes involved in these pathways such as GBA, SNCA, ATP13a2 (also known as PARK9), TMEM175 and LRRK2. Mutations resulting in lysosomal dysfunction are proposed to contribute to Parkinson's disease by increasing α-synuclein levels, that in turn may promote aggregation of this protein. Here, we used two different genetic models–one heterozygous for a mutated form of the GBA protein (D409V), and the other heterozygous for an ATP13a2 loss-of-function mutation, to test whether these mutations exacerbate the spread of α-synuclein pathology following injection of α-synuclein preformed fibrils in the olfactory bulb of 12-week-old mice. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found that mice harboring GBA D409V+/− and ATP13a2+/− mutations did not have exacerbated behavioral impairments or histopathology (α-synuclein, LAMP2, and Iba1) when compared to their wildtype littermates. This indicates that in the young mouse brain, neither the GBA D409V mutation or ATP13a2 loss-of-function mutation accelerate the spread of α-synuclein pathology. As a consequence, we postulate that these mutations increase Parkinson's disease risk only by acting in one of the initial, upstream events in the Parkinson's disease pathogenic process. Further, the mutations, and the molecular pathways they impact, appear to play a less important role once the pathogenic process has been triggered and therefore do not specifically influence α-synuclein pathology spread.
- Olfactory bulb
- Parkinson's disease
- α-Synuclein preformed fibrils
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