January 26, 2021

Overexpression of human alpha-synuclein leads to dysregulated microbiome and metabolites with ageing in a rat model of Parkinson disease

Since Braak’ hypothesis stating that sporadic Parkinson’ disease follows a specific progression of the pathology from the peripheral to the central nervous system and can be monitored by detecting accumulation of the alpha-Synuclein protein. There is growing interest in understanding how the gut (commensal) microbiome can regulate alpha-Synuclein accumulation which can lead to PD. We studied a transgenic rat model overexpressing the human alpha-Synuclein and found that the protein overexpression resulted in gut alpha-Synuclein expression and aggregation in the gut neurons with advancing age. A progressive gut microbial composition alteration characterized by the reduction of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio could be detected in the young transgenic rat model and interestingly this ratio was then increased with aging. This observation was accompanied in older animals by intestinal inflammation, increase gut permeability and a robust alteration in metabolites production characterized by the increase of succinate level in the feces and serum. Manipulation of the gut bacteria by short-term antibiotics treatment revealed a complete loss of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and reduction in succinate levels. Although antibiotics treatment did not change alpha-synuclein expression in the enteric nervous system of the colon, it can reduce alpha-synuclein expression in the olfactory bulb of the transgenic rats. In summary, synchronous with ageing, our data emphasize that the gut microbiome dysbiosis leads to a specific alteration of gut metabolites which are reflected in the serum and can be modulated by the environment.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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