Neural expression profile of alpha-synuclein in developing human cortex

Neuroreport. 1999 Sep 9;10(13):2799-803. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199909090-00019.


Alpha-synuclein is a predominantly neuronal presynaptic protein that may play an important role during synaptogenesis and CNS development. In order to elucidate the human developmental expression profile, we used a polyclonal antiserum against the NAC domain of alpha-synuclein. In normal fetal cortex neuroectodermal precursor cells elicited staining in the soma, whereas, in adult cortex, we observed a staining pattern compatible with synaptic function. The same developmental intraneuronal redistribution was found in neurodegenerative disorders, i.e. somatic staining in neuroectodermal precursors in fetal (trisomy 21) and a synaptic pattern in adult (Down's syndrome, Alzheimer's disease) brains. RT-PCR and Western blot analysis revealed expression at all time points studied (4-7.5 months) during human brain development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Blotting, Western
  • Brain / embryology
  • Cerebral Cortex / embryology*
  • Down Syndrome / embryology
  • Down Syndrome / metabolism
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Fetus / metabolism
  • Fetus / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Synucleins
  • alpha-Synuclein


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • SNCA protein, human
  • Synucleins
  • alpha-Synuclein