In this study, we analyze the neuropathological and biochemical alterations involved in the pathogenesis of a neurodegenerative/movement disorder during different developmental stages in juvenile rats with a mutant Myosin5a (Myo5a). In mutant rats, a spontaneous autosomal recessive mutation characterized by the absence of Myo5a protein expression in the brain is associated with a syndrome of locomotor dysfunction, altered coat color, and neuroendocrine abnormalities. Myo5a encodes a myosin motor protein required for transport and proper distribution of subcellular organelles in somatodendritic processes in neurons. Here we report marked hyperphosphorylation of alpha-synuclein and tau, as well as region-specific buildup of the autotoxic dopamine metabolite, 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-acetaldehyde (DOPAL), related to decreased aldehyde dehydrogenases activity and neurodegeneration in mutant rats. Alpha-synuclein accumulation in mitochondria of dopaminergic neurons is associated with impaired enzymatic respiratory complex I and IV activity. The behavioral and biochemical lesions progress after 15 days postnatal, and by 30-40 days the animals must be euthanized because of neurological impairment. Based on the obtained results, we propose a pleiotropic pathogenesis that links the Myo5a gene mutation to deficient neuronal development and progressive neurodegeneration. This potential model of a neurodevelopmental disorder with neurodegeneration and motor deficits may provide further insight into molecular motors and their associated proteins responsible for altered neurogenesis and neuronal disease pathogenesis.
Keywords: Autophagy; Dopamine metabolism alteration; Dying back neurodegeneration; Mitochondria complex I-IV; Myo5a mutation; TEM; α-synuclein/tau-P.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.