Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases from a prion-like perspective
Alino Jose Martínez
School of Medicine at the Ciudad Real
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases are the two most prevalent proteinopathies in our society. The first one is characterized by cognitive deficits while motor symptoms are distinctive of the second one. Nevertheless, both pathologies share common features which have opened new research strategies. First, common brain areas in both diseases are involved from initial stages (especially the anterior olfactory nucleus and the locus coeruleus). Second, several evidences have pointed out that both pathologies could act as prion-like manner. Thus, allowing pathological proteins (amyloid-β and tau in Alzheimer's disease and α-synuclein in Parkinson's disease) to spread out through neuronal connections and seeding the pathology by misfolding native proteins. Third, numerous evidences state that glia is deeply involved in the initial stages of disease and in seeding and spreading of pathological proteins as well. Currently, however, either the neuroprotective or neurodegenerative role of the astroglia and microglia is uncertain. We have developed in vitro and in vivo approaches including transgenic models as well as analysis in human brain tissue. We have demonstrated in vivo retrograde and contralateral synucleinopathy induction after alpha-synuclein injections. We have also demonstrated in vitro and in vivo internalization of plaque extracts of human samples from Alzheimer's patients.
Host: Carlos Matute