Unilateral intranigral administration of β-sitosterol β-D-glucoside triggers pathological α-synuclein spreading and bilateral nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration in the rat

Luis O. Soto-Rojas, Irma A. Martínez-Dávila, Claudia Luna-Herrera, María E. Gutierrez-Castillo, Francisco E. Lopez-Salas, Bismark Gatica-Garcia, Guadalupe Soto-Rodriguez, María Elena Bringas Tobon, Gonzalo Flores, America Padilla-Viveros, Cecilia Bañuelos, Víctor Manuel Blanco-Alvarez, José Dávila-Ayala, David Reyes-Corona, Linda Garcés-Ramírez, Oriana Hidalgo-Alegria, Fidel De La Cruz-López, Daniel Martinez-Fong

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Abstract

© 2020 The Author(s). The spreading and accumulation of α-synuclein and dopaminergic neurodegeneration, two hallmarks of Parkinson's disease (PD), have been faithfully reproduced in rodent brains by chronic, oral administration of β-sitosterol β-D-glucoside (BSSG). We investigated whether a single injection of BSSG (6 μg BSSG/μL DMSO) in the left substantia nigra of Wistar rats causes the same effects. Mock DMSO injections and untreated rats formed control groups. We performed immunostainings against the pathological α-synuclein, the dopaminergic marker tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the neuroskeleton marker β-III tubulin, the neurotensin receptor type 1 (NTSR1) as non-dopaminergic phenotype marker and Fluro-Jade C (F-J C) label for neurodegeneration. Using β-galactosidase (β-Gal) assay and active caspase-3 immunostaining, we assessed cell death mechanisms. Golgi-Cox staining was used to measure the density and types of dendritic spines of striatal medium spiny neurons. Motor and non-motor alterations were also evaluated. The study period comprised 15 to 120 days after the lesion. In the injured substantia nigra, BSSG caused a progressive α-synuclein aggregation and dopaminergic neurodegeneration caused by senescence and apoptosis. The α-synuclein immunoreactivity was also present within microglia cells. Decreased density of dopaminergic fibers and dendritic spines also occurred in the striatum. Remarkably, all the histopathological changes also appeared on the contralateral nigrostriatal system, and α-synuclein aggregates were present in other brain regions. Motor and non-motor behavioral alterations were progressive. Our data show that the stereotaxic BSSG administration reproduces PD α-synucleinopathy phenotype in the rat. This approach will aid in identifying the spread mechanism of α-synuclein pathology and validate anti-synucleinopathy therapies.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalActa neuropathologica communications
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 Apr 2020

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