Alpha-synuclein immunoreactivity in glial cytoplasmic inclusions in multiple system atrophy

Neurosci Lett. 1998 Jun 19;249(2-3):180-2. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(98)00407-8.


Lewy bodies in Parkinson' s disease (PD) are strongly immunoreactive with antibodies against alpha-synuclein, which is mutated in some familial cases of the disease. We carried out immunohistochemical examinations of the brains of multiple system atrophy (MSA) patients using anti-alpha-synuclein antibodies. Strong alpha-synuclein immunoreactivity was found in glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs), which are of oligodendroglial origin and occur exclusively in MSA. Alpha-synuclein-immunoreactive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs) were also found occasionally in the substantia nigra, pontine and inferior olivary nuclei, and dentate fascia. These findings indicate that alpha-synuclein is also a major component of GCIs and NCIs in MSA and strongly suggest that alpha-synuclein aggregation is a common process in certain neurodegenerative diseases, including PD and MSA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain Stem / metabolism
  • Cerebellum / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lewy Bodies / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple System Atrophy / metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / immunology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neuroglia / metabolism*
  • Synucleins
  • Ubiquitins / metabolism
  • alpha-Synuclein


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