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α-Synuclein conformational strains spread, seed and target neuronal cells differentially after injection into the olfactory bulb

Abstract : Alpha-synuclein inclusions, the hallmarks of synucleinopathies, are suggested to spread along neuronal connections in a stereotypical pattern in the brains of patients. Ample evidence now supports that pathological forms of alpha-synuclein propagate in cell culture models and in vivo in a prion-like manner. However, it is still not known why the same pathological protein targets different cell populations, propagates with different kinetics and leads to a variety of diseases (synucleinopathies) with distinct clinical features. The aggregation of the protein alpha-synuclein yields different conformational polymorphs called strains. These strains exhibit distinct biochemical, physical and structural features they are able to imprint to newly recruited alpha-synuclein. This had led to the view that the clinical heterogeneity observed in synucleinopathies might be due to distinct pathological alpha-synuclein strains. To investigate the pathological effects of alpha-synuclein strains in vivo, we injected five different pure strains we generated de novo (fibrils, ribbons, fibrils-65, fibrils-91, fibrils-110) into the olfactory bulb of wild-type female mice. We demonstrate that they seed and propagate pathology throughout the olfactory network within the brain to different extents. We show strain-dependent inclusions formation in neurites or cell bodies. We detect thioflavin S-positive inclusions indicating the presence of mature amyloid aggregates. In conclusion, alpha-synuclein strains seed the aggregation of their cellular counterparts to different extents and spread differentially within the central nervous system yielding distinct propagation patterns. We provide here the proof-of-concept that the conformation adopted by alpha-synuclein assemblies determines their ability to amplify and propagate in the brain in vivo. Our observations support the view that alpha-synuclein polymorphs may underlie different propagation patterns within human brains.
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 2, 2020 - 11:06:10 AM
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Nolwen Rey, Luc Bousset, Sonia George, Zachary Madaj, Lindsay Meyerdirk, et al.. α-Synuclein conformational strains spread, seed and target neuronal cells differentially after injection into the olfactory bulb. Acta Neuropathologica Communications, BioMed Central part of Springer Science, 2019, 7 (1), pp.221. ⟨10.1186/s40478-019-0859-3⟩. ⟨cea-02426346⟩

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