This study was designed to investigate the transient and cumulative impairments in spatial and non-spatial memory of C57Bl/6J mice exposed to GSM 1.8 GHz signal for 90 min daily by a typical cellular (mobile) phone at a specific absorption rate value of 0.11 W/kg. Free-moving male mice 2 months old were irradiated in two experimental protocols, lasting for 66 and for 148 days respectively. Each protocol used three groups of animals (n = 8 each for exposed, sham exposed and controls) in combination with two behavioural paradigms, the object recognition task and the object location task sequentially applied at different time points. One-way analysis of variance revealed statistically significant impairments of both types of memory gradually accumulating, with more pronounced effects on the spatial memory. The impairments persisted even 2 weeks after interruption of the 8 weeks daily exposure, whereas the memory of mice as detected by both tasks showed a full recovery approximately 1 month later. Intermittent every other day exposure for 1 month had no effect on both types of memory. The data suggest that visual information processing mechanisms in hippocampus, perirhinal and entorhinal cortex are gradually malfunctioning upon long-term daily exposure, a phenotype that persists for at least 2 weeks after interruption of radiation, returning to normal memory performance levels 4 weeks later. It is postulated that cellular repair mechanisms are operating to eliminate the memory affecting molecules. The overall contribution of several possible mechanisms to the observed cumulative and transient impairments in spatial and non-spatial memory is discussed.
alpha-Synuclein is central in Parkinsons disease pathogenesis. Although initially alpha-synuclein was considered a purely intracellular protein, recent data suggest that it can be detected in the plasma and CSF of humans and in the culture media of neuronal cells. To address a role of secreted alpha-synuclein in neuronal homeostasis, we have generated wild-type alpha-synuclein and beta-galactosidase inducible SH-SY5Y cells. Soluble oligomeric and monomeric species of alpha-synuclein are readily detected in the conditioned media (CM) of these cells at concentrations similar to those observed in human CSF. We have found that, in this model, alpha-synuclein is secreted by externalized vesicles in a calcium-dependent manner. Electron microscopy and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry proteomic analysis demonstrate that these vesicles have the characteristic hallmarks of exosomes, secreted intraluminar vesicles of multivesicular bodies. Application of CM containing secreted alpha-synuclein causes cell death of recipient neuronal cells, which can be reversed after alpha-synuclein immunodepletion from the CM. High- and low-molecular-weight alpha-synuclein species, isolated from this CM, significantly decrease cell viability. Importantly, treatment of the CM with oligomer-interfering compounds before application rescues the recipient neuronal cells from the observed toxicity. Our results show for the first time that cell-produced alpha-synuclein is secreted via an exosomal, calcium-dependent mechanism and suggest that alpha-synuclein secretion serves to amplify and propagate Parkinsons disease-related pathology.
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