Neonatal AAV delivery of alpha-synuclein induces pathology in the adult mouse brain

Marion Delenclos, Ayman H. Faroqi, Mei Yue, Aishe Kurti, Monica Castanedes-Casey, Linda Rousseau, Virginia Phillips, Dennis W. Dickson, John D. Fryer, Pamela J. McLean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Abnormal accumulation of alpha-synuclein (αsyn) is a pathological hallmark of Lewy body related disorders such as Parkinson's disease and Dementia with Lewy body disease. During the past two decades, a myriad of animal models have been developed to mimic pathological features of synucleinopathies by over-expressing human αsyn. Although different strategies have been used, most models have little or no reliable and predictive phenotype. Novel animal models are a valuable tool for understanding neuronal pathology and to facilitate development of new therapeutics for these diseases. Here, we report the development and characterization of a novel model in which mice rapidly express wild-type αsyn via somatic brain transgenesis mediated by adeno-associated virus (AAV). At 1, 3, and 6 months of age following intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection, mice were subjected to a battery of behavioral tests followed by pathological analyses of the brains. Remarkably, significant levels of αsyn expression are detected throughout the brain as early as 1 month old, including olfactory bulb, hippocampus, thalamic regions and midbrain. Immunostaining with a phospho-αsyn (pS129) specific antibody reveals abundant pS129 expression in specific regions. Also, pathologic αsyn is detected using the disease specific antibody 5G4. However, this model did not recapitulate behavioral phenotypes characteristic of rodent models of synucleinopathies. In fact no deficits in motor function or cognition were observed at 3 or 6 months of age. Taken together, these findings show that transduction of neonatal mouse with AAV-αsyn can successfully lead to rapid, whole brain transduction of wild-type human αsyn, but increased levels of wildtype αsyn do not induce behavior changes at an early time point (6 months), despite pathological changes in several neurons populations as early as 1 month.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51
Number of pages1
JournalActa Neuropathologica Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 23 2017


  • Aggregation
  • Alpha-synuclein
  • Neonatal injection
  • Viral vector model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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