Whole-mount analysis reveals normal numbers of dopaminergic neurons following misexpression of alpha-Synuclein in Drosophila

Genesis. 2005 Apr;41(4):154-9. doi: 10.1002/gene.20106.


Previously published reports have suggested that misexpression of alpha-Synuclein in the Drosophila central nervous system causes neurodegeneration and progressive age-dependent locomotor dysfunction similar to pathologic and clinical manifestations of Parkinson's disease. The number of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in these studies was assessed using immunohistochemistry with an anti-tyrosine hydroxylase antibody on sequential paraffin sections of fly brains. In contrast, we do not observe any DA cell loss in alpha-Synuclein expressing fly brains when using whole-mount immunohistochemistry as an assay. Our results suggest that the DA cell loss observed with misexpression of alpha-Synuclein is not fully penetrant under a variety of experimental conditions and that this may complicate interpretation of such experiments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Locomotion
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Receptors, Dopamine*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Specimen Handling
  • Synucleins
  • alpha-Synuclein


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Receptors, Dopamine
  • SNCA protein, human
  • Synucleins
  • alpha-Synuclein