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Exacerbation of sensorimotor dysfunction in mice deficient in Atp13a2 and overexpressing human wildtype alpha-synuclein.

Dirr E.R., Ekhator O.R., Blackwood R., Holden J.G., Masliah E., Schultheis P.J., Fleming S.M.

Loss of function mutations in the gene ATP13A2 are associated with Kufor-Rakeb Syndrome and Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis, the former designated as an inherited form of Parkinson's disease (PD). The function of ATP13A2 is unclear but in vitro studies indicate it is a lysosomal protein and may interact with the presynaptic protein alpha-synuclein (aSyn) and certain heavy metals. Accumulation of aSyn is a major component of lewy bodies, the pathological hallmark of PD. Atp13a2-deficient (13a2) mice develop age-dependent sensorimotor deficits, and accumulation of insoluble aSyn in the brain. To better understand the interaction between ATP13A2 and aSyn, double mutant mice with loss of Atp13a2 function combined with overexpression of human wildtype aSyn were generated. Female and male wildtype (WT), 13a2, aSyn, and 13a2-aSyn mice were tested on a battery of sensorimotor tests including adhesive removal, challenging beam traversal, spontaneous activity, gait, locomotor activity, and nest-building at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. Double mutant mice showed an earlier onset and accelerated alterations in sensorimotor function that were age, sex and test-dependent. Female 13a2-aSyn mice showed early and progressive dysfunction on the beam and in locomotor activity. In males, 13a2-aSyn mice showed more severe impairments in spontaneous activity and adhesive removal. Sex differences were also observed in aSyn and 13a2-aSyn mice on the beam, cylinder, and adhesive removal tests. In other tasks, double mutant mice displayed deficits similar to aSyn mice. These results indicate loss of Atp13a2 function exacerbates the sensorimotor phenotype in aSyn mice in an age and sex-dependent manner.

Behav. Brain Res. 343:41-49(2018) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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