Here, we investigated the kinase involved and show that the Tau-specific kinase, glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK-3beta), is robustly activated in various MPP(+)/MPTP models of Parkinsonism (SH-SY5Y cotransfected cells, mesencephalic neurons, transgenic mice overexpressing alpha-Syn, and postmortem striatum of PD patients).
Mutations in five causative genes combined [alpha-Synuclein (SNCA), Parkin, PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1), DJ-1, Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2)] account for 2-3% of all cases with classical parkinsonism, often clinically indistinguishable from idiopathic Parkinson's disease.
There appears to be four common processes linking the two disorders, as mutations in genes associated with Parkinsonism initiate similar adverse biological reactions acknowledged to stimulate Mn-induced dopaminergic cell death including; (1) disruption of mitochondrial function leading to oxidative stress, (2) abnormalities in vesicle processing, (3) altered proteasomal and lysosomal protein degradation, and (4) α-synuclein aggregation The mutual neurotoxic processes provoked by mutations in these genes in concert with the biological disturbances produced by Mn, most likely, act in synchrony to contribute to the severity, characteristics and onset of both disorders.
The identification of SNCA as the first gene implicated in monogenic parkinsonism led to the recognition of α-synuclein as a key protein in the pathogenesis and a major component of pathological hallmark lesions.
Synucleinopathies are a spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the intracellular deposition of the protein α-synuclein leading to multiple outcomes, including dementia and Parkinsonism.
Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a rare neurodegenerative disease of undetermined cause manifesting with progressive autonomic failure (AF), cerebellar ataxia and parkinsonism due to neuronal loss in multiple brain areas associated with (oligodendro)glial cytoplasmic alpha-synuclein (alpha SYN) inclusions (GCIs).
MSA is a slowly evolving disorder characterized by progressive loss of autonomic nervous system function and often signs of parkinsonism; the neuropathological hallmark of MSA is glial cytoplasmic inclusions consisting of filaments of α-synuclein.
We used two different procedures, first, the adoptive transfer of splenocytes from αSyn/Grp94-immunized mice to recipient animals, and second, direct immunization with αSyn/Grp94, to study the effects in a chronic mouse MPTP-model of parkinsonism.
The presence of alpha-synuclein Lewy body pathology is used to distinguish Parkinson's disease from parkinsonism, for which a broader spectrum of neuropathologies, including tau-immunopositive neurofibrillary tangles and ubiquitin inclusions, might accompany nigral neuronal loss.