Lack of α-synuclein does not alter apoptosis of neonatal catecholaminergic neurons

Leonidas Stefanis, Qiaohong Wang, Tinmarla Oo, Isabelle Lang-Rollin, Robert E. Burke, William T. Dauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


α-Synuclein is an abundant neuronal protein of uncertain function linked to Parkinson's disease. Numerous studies have proposed an antiapoptotic function for α-synuclein, based on overexpression experiments in cell lines. To explore whether α-synuclein has such a physiological function, we assessed the response of wild type or α-synuclein null neonatal mouse sympathetic neurons to nerve growth factor deprivation, a well-characterized stimulus of neuronal apoptosis. There was no difference in the rate of neuronal loss, neuronal apoptosis, or c-jun phosphorylation. Furthermore, the absence of α-synuclein did not alter the magnitude of naturally occurring cell death in vivo in substantia nigra pars compacta. Therefore, α-synuclein is unlikely to play a significant role in apoptotic signalling in catecholaminergic neurons of the neonatal nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1969-1972
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Dopaminergic neuron
  • Mouse
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Sympathetic neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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