α-Synuclein (α-syn) and tau aggregates are the neuropathological hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), respectively, although both pathologies co-occur in patients with these diseases, suggesting possible crosstalk between them. To elucidate the interactions of pathological α-syn and tau, we sought to model these interactions. We show that increased accumulation of tau aggregates occur following simultaneous introduction of α-syn mousepreformed fibrils (mpffs) and AD lysate–derived tau seeds (AD-tau) both in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, the absence of endogenous mouse α-syn in mice reduces the accumulation and spreading of tau, while the absence of tau did not affect the seeding or spreading capacity of α-syn. These in vivo results are consistent with our in vitro data wherein the presence of tau has no synergistic effects on α-syn. Our results point to the important role of α-syn as a modulator of tau pathology burden and spreading in the brains of AD, PDD, and DLB patients.
α-Synuclein modulates tau spreading in mouse brains
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Fares Bassil, Emily S. Meymand, Hannah J. Brown, Hong Xu, Timothy O. Cox, Shankar Pattabhiraman, Chantal M. Maghames, Qihui Wu, Bin Zhang, John Q. Trojanowski, Virginia M.-Y. Lee; α-Synuclein modulates tau spreading in mouse brains. J Exp Med 4 January 2021; 218 (1): e20192193. doi: https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20192193
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