Stem Cell Biology

Head of Department:
Prof. Dr. med. Beate Winner

α-Synuclein oligomers induce early axonal dysfunction in human iPSC-based models of synucleinopathies

Out in PNAS!

α-Synuclein (α-Syn) aggregation underlies neurodegeneration in synucleinopathies. However, the nature of α-Syn aggregates and their toxic mechanisms in human pathology remains elusive. Here, we delineate a role of α-Syn oligomericaggregates for axonal integrity in human neuronal models of synucleinopathies. α-Syn oligomers disrupt anterograde axonal transport of mitochondria by causing subcellular changes in transport-regulating proteins and energy deficits. An increase of α-Syn oligomers in human neurons finally results in synaptic degeneration. Together, our data provide mechanistic insights of α-Syn oligomeric toxicity in human neurons.Taking into account that α-Syn oligomers and axonal dysfunction are characteristic for early neurodegeneration in synucleinopathies, our data might deliver targets for therapeutic interference with early disease pathology.

Here is a link to the paper: