The pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease and diffuse Lewy body disease (DLBD) is the aggregation of α-synuclein (α-syn) in the form of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites. Patients with both Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cortical Lewy pathology represent the Lewy body variant of AD (LBV) and constitute 25% of AD cases. C-terminally truncated forms of α-syn enhance the aggregation of α-syn in vitro. To investigate the presence of C-terminally truncated α-syn in DLBD, AD, and LBV, we generated and validated polyclonal antibodies to truncated α-syn ending at residues 110 (α-syn110) and 119 (α-syn119), two products of 20S proteosome-mediated endoproteolytic cleavage. Double immunofluorescence staining of the cingulate cortex showed that α-syn110 and α-syn140 (full-length) aggregates were not colocalized in LBV. All aggregates containing α-syn140 also contained α-syn119; however, some aggregates contained α-syn119 without α-syn140, suggesting that α-syn119 may stimulate aggregate formation. Immunohistochemistry and image analysis of tissue microarrays of the cingulate cortex from patients with DLBD (n = 27), LBV (n = 27), and AD (n = 19) and age-matched controls (n = 15) revealed that AD is also characterized by frequent abnormal neurites containing α-syn119. Notably, these neurites did not contain α-syn ending at residues 110 or 122-140. The presence of abnormal neurites containing α-syn119 in AD without conventional Lewy pathology suggests that AD and Lewy body disease may be more closely related than previously thought.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine