The Parkinsonian mimetic, 6-OHDA, impairs axonal transport in dopaminergic axons

Xi Lu, Jeong Sook Kim-Han, Steve Harmon, Shelly E Sakiyama-Elbert and Karen L O’Malley: 2014 Mol Neurodegener. 3;9:17 Read More


6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) is one of the most commonly used toxins for modeling degeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in Parkinson’s disease. 6-OHDA also causes axonal degeneration, a process that appears to precede the death of DA neurons. To understand the processes involved in 6-OHDA-mediated axonal degeneration, a microdevice designed to isolate axons fluidically from cell bodies was used in conjunction with green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled DA neurons. Results showed that 6-OHDA quickly induced mitochondrial transport dysfunction in both DA and non-DA axons. This appeared to be a general effect on transport function since 6-OHDA also disrupted transport of synaptophysin-tagged vesicles. The effects of 6-OHDA on mitochondrial transport were blocked by the addition of the SOD1-mimetic, Mn(III)tetrakis(4-benzoic acid)porphyrin chloride (MnTBAP), as well as the anti-oxidant N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) suggesting that free radical species played a role in this process. Temporally, microtubule disruption and autophagy occurred after transport dysfunction yet before DA cell death following 6-OHDA treatment. The results from the study suggest that ROS-mediated transport dysfunction occurs early and plays a significant role in inducing axonal degeneration in response to 6-OHDA treatment.

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Posted on May 3, 2014
Posted in: Axon Injury & Repair, Pilot Projects, Publications Authors: