Epidemiological studies suggest a link between type-2 diabetes and Parkinsons disease (PD) risk. Treatment of type-2 diabetes with insulin sensitizing drugs lowers the risk of PD. We previously showed that the insulin sensitizing drug, MSDC-0160, ameliorates pathogenesis in some animal models of PD. MSDC-0160 reversibly binds the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) protein complex, which has an anti-inflammatory effect and restores metabolic deficits. Since PD is characterized by the deposition of alpha-synuclein (aSyn), we hypothesized that inhibiting the MPC might directly inhibit aSyn aggregation in vivo in mammals. To answer if modulation of MPC can reduce the development of aSyn assemblies, and reduce neurodegeneration, we treated two chronic and progressive mouse models; a viral vector-based aSyn overexpressing model and a pre-formed fibril (PFF) aSyn seeding model with MSDC-0160. These two models present with distinct types of aSyn pathology but lack inflammatory or autophagy deficits. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found that a modulation of MPC in these models did not reduce the accumulation aSyn aggregates or mitigate neurotoxicity. Instead, MSDC-0160 changed the post-translational modification and aggregation features of the aSyn. These results are consistent with the lack of a direct effect on MPC modulation on synuclein clearance in these models.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience