JoVE

In JoVE (2)

Other Publications (11)

Articles by Anke Van der Perren in JoVE

 JoVE Medicine

A Novel Surgical Approach for Intratracheal Administration of Bioactive Agents in a Fetal Mouse Model

1Molecular Virology and Gene Therapy, KU Leuven, 2Department of Woman and Child, KU Leuven, 3Neurobiology and Gene Therapy, KU Leuven, 4Division of Nuclear Medicine, KU Leuven, 5Biomedical NMR Unit/ MoSAIC, KU Leuven


JoVE 4219

 JoVE Medicine

Development of an Alpha-synuclein Based Rat Model for Parkinson's Disease via Stereotactic Injection of a Recombinant Adeno-associated Viral Vector

1Laboratory for Neurobiology and Gene Therapy, Department of Neurosciences, KU Leuven, 2Division of Nuclear Medicine, Leuven University Hospital - KU Leuven, 3Laboratory for Molecular Virology and Gene Therapy, Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, KU Leuven, 4Leuven Viral Vector Core, KU Leuven


JoVE 53670

Other articles by Anke Van der Perren on PubMed

Endonuclease G Mediates α-synuclein Cytotoxicity During Parkinson's Disease

The EMBO Journal. Nov, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24129513

Malfunctioning of the protein α-synuclein is critically involved in the demise of dopaminergic neurons relevant to Parkinson's disease. Nonetheless, the precise mechanisms explaining this pathogenic neuronal cell death remain elusive. Endonuclease G (EndoG) is a mitochondrially localized nuclease that triggers DNA degradation and cell death upon translocation from mitochondria to the nucleus. Here, we show that EndoG displays cytotoxic nuclear localization in dopaminergic neurons of human Parkinson-diseased patients, while EndoG depletion largely reduces α-synuclein-induced cell death in human neuroblastoma cells. Xenogenic expression of human α-synuclein in yeast cells triggers mitochondria-nuclear translocation of EndoG and EndoG-mediated DNA degradation through a mechanism that requires a functional kynurenine pathway and the permeability transition pore. In nematodes and flies, EndoG is essential for the α-synuclein-driven degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. Moreover, the locomotion and survival of α-synuclein-expressing flies is compromised, but reinstalled by parallel depletion of EndoG. In sum, we unravel a phylogenetically conserved pathway that involves EndoG as a critical downstream executor of α-synuclein cytotoxicity.

RAAV2/7 Vector-mediated Overexpression of Alpha-synuclein in Mouse Substantia Nigra Induces Protein Aggregation and Progressive Dose-dependent Neurodegeneration

Molecular Neurodegeneration. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24267638

Alpha-synuclein is a key protein implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). It is the main component of the Lewy bodies, a cardinal neuropathological feature in the disease. In addition, whole locus multiplications and point mutations in the gene coding for alpha-synuclein lead to autosomal dominant monogenic PD. Over the past decade, research on PD has impelled the development of new animal models based on alpha-synuclein. In this context, transgenic mouse lines have failed to reproduce several hallmarks of PD, especially the strong and progressive dopaminergic neurodegeneration over time that occurs in the patients. In contrast, viral vector-based models in rats and non-human primates display prominent, although highly variable, nigral dopaminergic neuron loss. However, the few studies available on viral vector-mediated overexpression of alpha-synuclein in mice report a weak neurodegenerative process and no clear Lewy body-like pathology. To address this issue, we performed a comprehensive comparative study of alpha-synuclein overexpression by means of recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors serotype 2/7 (rAAV2/7) at different doses in adult mouse substantia nigra.

Long-term Overexpression of Human Wild-type and T240R Mutant Parkin in Rat Substantia Nigra Induces Progressive Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration

Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. Feb, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24423640

Mutations in the parkin gene are the most common cause of early-onset autosomal recessive Parkinson disease (PD). The pathogenic mechanisms of how parkin mutations lead to the development of PD are not fully understood. Studies of cell cultures and of Drosophila have suggested a dominant negative effect for the clinical parkin mutant T240R. Conversely, the neuroprotective capacity of parkin has been widely reported; this suggests that the parkin protein may have a potential therapeutic role in PD. Here, we aimed to develop a novel genetic rodent model of PD by overexpression of T240R-parkin and human wild-type parkin as a control in the dopaminergic neurons of adult rats using adeno-associated viral vectors (rAAV2/8). Surprisingly, we found that overexpression not only of T240R-parkin but also of human wild-type parkin induced progressive and dose-dependent dopaminergic cell death in rats, starting from 8 weeks after injection. This degeneration was specific for parkin because similar overexpressionof enhanced green fluorescent protein did not lead to nigral degeneration. Our results warrant caution to the development of therapeutic strategies for PD based on overexpression of parkin or enhancing parkin activity because this might be deleterious for dopaminergic neurons in the long-term.

Alpha-synuclein-induced Neurodegeneration is Exacerbated in PINK1 Knockout Mice

Neurobiology of Aging. Nov, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25037286

Loss-of-function mutations in the PINK1 gene lead to recessive forms of Parkinson's disease. Animal models with depleted PINK1 expression have failed to reproduce significant nigral dopaminergic neurodegeneration and clear alpha-synuclein pathology, main characteristics of the disease. In this study, we investigated whether alpha-synuclein pathology is altered in the absence of PINK1 in cell culture and in vivo. We observed that downregulation of PINK1 enhanced alpha-synuclein aggregation and apoptosis in a neuronal cell culture model for synucleinopathy. Silencing of PINK1 expression in mouse substantia nigra using recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors did not induce dopaminergic neurodegeneration in a long-term study up to 10 months, nor did it enhance or accelerate dopaminergic neurodegeneration after alpha-synuclein overexpression. However, in PINK1 knockout mice, overexpression of alpha-synuclein in the substantia nigra resulted in enhanced dopaminergic neurodegeneration as well as significantly higher levels of alpha-synuclein phosphorylation at serine 129 at 4 weeks postinjection. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that total loss of PINK1 leads to an increased sensitivity to alpha-synuclein-induced neuropathology and cell death in vivo.

Longitudinal Follow-up and Characterization of a Robust Rat Model for Parkinson's Disease Based on Overexpression of Alpha-synuclein with Adeno-associated Viral Vectors

Neurobiology of Aging. Dec, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25599874

Testing of new therapeutic strategies for Parkinson's disease (PD) is currently hampered by the lack of relevant and reproducible animal models. Here, we developed a robust rat model for PD by injection of adeno-associated viral vectors (rAAV2/7) encoding α-synuclein into the substantia nigra, resulting in reproducible nigrostriatal pathology and behavioral deficits in a 4-week time period. Progressive dopaminergic dysfunction was corroborated by histopathologic and biochemical analysis, motor behavior testing and in vivo microdialysis. L-DOPA treatment was found to reverse the behavioral phenotype. Non-invasive positron emission tomography imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy allowed longitudinal monitoring of neurodegeneration. In addition, insoluble α-synuclein aggregates were formed in this model. This α-synuclein rat model shows improved face and predictive validity, and therefore offers the possibility to reliably test novel therapeutics. Furthermore, it will be of great value for further research into the molecular pathogenesis of PD and the importance of α-synuclein aggregation in the disease process.

Viral Vector-based Models of Parkinson's Disease

Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 24839101

In order to study the molecular pathways of Parkinson's disease (PD) and to develop novel therapeutic strategies, scientific investigators rely on animal models. The identification of PD-associated genes has led to the development of genetic PD models as an alternative to toxin-based models. Viral vector-mediated loco-regional gene delivery provides an attractive way to express transgenes in the central nervous system. Several vector systems based on various viruses have been developed. In this chapter, we give an overview of the different viral vector systems used for targeting the CNS. Further, we describe the different viral vector-based PD models currently available based on overexpression strategies for autosomal dominant genes such as α-synuclein and LRRK2, and knockout or knockdown strategies for autosomal recessive genes, such as parkin, DJ-1, and PINK1. Models based on overexpression of α-synuclein are the most prevalent and extensively studied, and therefore the main focus of this chapter. Many efforts have been made to increase the expression levels of α-synuclein in the dopaminergic neurons. The best α-synuclein models currently available have been developed from a combined approach using newer AAV serotypes and optimized vector constructs, production, and purification methods. These third-generation α-synuclein models show improved face and predictive validity, and therefore offer the possibility to reliably test novel therapeutics.

FK506 Reduces Neuroinflammation and Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration in an α-synuclein-based Rat Model for Parkinson's Disease

Neurobiology of Aging. Mar, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25660193

Alpha-synuclein (α-synuclein) is considered a key player in Parkinson's disease (PD), but the exact relationship between α-synuclein aggregation and dopaminergic neurodegeneration remains unresolved. There is increasing evidence that neuroinflammatory processes are closely linked to dopaminergic cell death, but whether the inflammatory process is causally involved in PD or rather reflects secondary consequences of nigrostriatal pathway injury is still under debate. We evaluated the therapeutic effect of the immunophilin ligand FK506 in a rAAV2/7 α-synuclein overexpression rat model. Treatment with FK506 significantly increased the survival of dopaminergic neurons in a dose-dependent manner. No reduction in α-synuclein aggregation was apparent in this time window, but FK506 significantly lowered the infiltration of both T helper and cytotoxic T cells and the number and subtype of microglia and macrophages. These data suggest that the anti-inflammatory properties of FK506 decrease neurodegeneration in this α-synuclein-based PD model, pointing to a causal role of neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of PD.

Nigral Proteasome Inhibition in Mice Leads to Motor and Non-motor Deficits and Increased Expression of Ser129 Phosphorylated α-synuclein

Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25873870

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor and non-motor disturbances. Various pathogenic pathways drive disease progression including oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, α-synuclein aggregation and impairment of protein degradation systems. Dysfunction of the ubiquitin-proteasome system in the substantia nigra of Parkinson's disease patients is believed to be one of the causes of protein aggregation and cell death associated with this disorder. Lactacystin, a potent inhibitor of the proteasome, was previously delivered to the nigrostriatal pathway of rodents to model nigrostriatal degeneration. Although lactacystin-treated animals develop parkinsonian motor impairment, it is currently unknown whether they also develop non-motor symptoms characteristic of this disorder. In order to further describe the proteasome inhibition model of Parkinson's disease, we characterized the unilateral lactacystin model, performed by stereotaxic injection of the toxin in the substantia nigra of mice. We studied the degree of neurodegeneration and the behavioral phenotype 1 and 3 weeks after lactacystin lesion both in terms of motor impairment, as well as non-motor symptoms. We report that unilateral administration of 3 μg lactacystin to the substantia nigra of mice leads to partial (~40%) dopaminergic cell loss and concurrent striatal dopamine depletion, accompanied by increased expression of Ser129-phosphorylated α-synuclein. Behavioral characterization of the model revealed parkinsonian motor impairment, as well as signs of non-motor disturbances resembling early stage Parkinson's disease including sensitive and somatosensory deficits, anxiety-like behavior, and perseverative behavior. The consistent finding of good face validity, together with relevant construct validity, warrant a further evaluation of proteasome inhibition models of Parkinson's disease in pre-clinical research and validation of therapeutic targets.

Nigral Overexpression of Alpha-synuclein in the Absence of Parkin Enhances Alpha-synuclein Phosphorylation but Does Not Modulate Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration

Molecular Neurodegeneration. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26099628

Alpha-synuclein is a key protein in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. Mutations in the parkin gene are the most common cause of early-onset autosomal recessive Parkinson's disease, probably through a loss-of-function mechanism. However, the molecular mechanism by which loss of parkin function leads to the development of the disease and the role of alpha-synuclein in parkin-associated Parkinson's disease is still not elucidated. Conflicting results were reported about the effect of the absence of parkin on alpha-synuclein-mediated neurotoxicity using a transgenic approach. In this study, we investigated the effect of loss of parkin on alpha-synuclein neuropathology and toxicity in adult rodent brain using viral vectors. Therefore, we overexpressed human wild type alpha-synuclein in the substantia nigra of parkin knockout and wild type mice using two different doses of recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors.

Binocular Pattern Deprivation Interferes with the Expression of Proteins Involved in Primary Visual Cortex Maturation in the Cat

Molecular Brain. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26271461

Binocular pattern deprivation from eye opening (early BD) delays the maturation of the primary visual cortex. This delay is more pronounced for the peripheral than the central visual field representation within area 17, particularly between the age of 2 and 4 months [Laskowska-Macios, Cereb Cortex, 2014].

Noninvasive Imaging Reveals Stable Transgene Expression in Mouse Airways After Delivery of a Nonintegrating Recombinant Adeno-Associated Viral Vector

Human Gene Therapy. Jan, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26567984

Gene therapy holds promise to cure a wide range of genetic and acquired diseases. Recent successes in recombinant adeno-associated viral vector (rAAV)-based gene therapy in the clinic for hereditary disorders such as Leber's congenital amaurosis and hemophilia B encouraged us to reexplore an rAAV approach for pulmonary gene transfer. Only limited clinical successes have been achieved for airway gene transfer so far, underscoring the need for further preclinical development of rAAV-based gene therapy for pulmonary disorders. We sought to determine the preclinical potential of an airway-tropic serotype, rAAV2/5, encoding reporter genes when delivered to mouse airways. Although several groups have assessed the stability of gene transfer using a nonintegrating rAAV in mouse airways, long-term stability for more than a year has not been reported. Additionally, an extensive quantitative analysis of the specific cell types targeted by rAAV2/5 using cell-specific markers is lacking. We obtained sustained gene expression in upper and lower airways up to 15 months after vector administration, a substantial proportion of the lifespan of a laboratory mouse. In addition, we demonstrated that readministration of rAAV2/5 to the airways is feasible and increases gene expression 14 months after primary vector administration, despite the presence of circulating neutralizing antibodies. Finally, identification of transduced cell types revealed different subpopulations being targeted by rAAV2/5, with 64% of β-galactosidase-positive cells being ciliated cells, 34% club cells in the conducting airways, and 75% alveolar type II cells in the alveoli at 1 month postinjection. This underscores the therapeutic potential of a nonintegrating rAAV vector to develop a gene therapeutic drug for a variety of pulmonary disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, primary ciliary dyskinesia, and surfactant deficiencies.

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