Immunisation with UB-312 in the Thy1SNCA mouse prevents motor performance deficits and oligomeric α-synuclein accumulation in the brain and gut

Acta Neuropathol. 2021 Nov 6. doi: 10.1007/s00401-021-02381-5. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Alpha synuclein has a key role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD), Dementia with Lewy Bodies (LBD) and Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). Immunotherapies aiming at neutralising toxic αSyn species are being investigated in the clinic as potential disease modifying therapies for PD and other synucleinopathies. In this study, the effects of active immunisation against αSyn with the UB-312 vaccine were investigated in the Thy1SNCA/15 mouse model of PD. Young transgenic and wild-type mice received an immunisation regimen over a period of 6 weeks, then observed for an additional 9 weeks. Behavioural assessment was conducted before immunisation and at 15 weeks after the first dose. UB-312 immunisation prevented the development of motor impairment in the wire test and challenging beam test, which was associated with reduced levels of αSyn oligomers in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and striatum of Thy1SNCA/15 mice. UB-312 immunotherapy resulted in a significant reduction of theαSyn load in the colon, accompanied by a reduction in enteric glial cell reactivity in the colonic ganglia. Our results demonstrate that immunisation with UB-312 prevents functional deficits and both central and peripheral pathology in Thy1SNCA/15 mice.

Keywords: Alpha synuclein; Gastrointestinal pathology; Immunotherapy; Motor behaviour; Synucleinopathies; Thy1SNCA.