An overview on the role of α -synuclein in experimental models of parkinson's disease from pathogenesis to therapeutics

Hayate Javed, Mohammad Amjad Kamal, Shreesh Ojha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a devastating and progressive movement disorder characterized by symptoms of muscles rigidity, tremor, postural instability and slow physical movements. Biochemically, PD is characterized by lack of dopamine production and its action due to loss of dopaminergic neurons and neuropathologically by the presence of intracytoplasmic inclusions known as Lewy bodies, which mainly consist of presynaptic neuronal protein, α-synuclein (α-syn). It is believed that alteration in α-syn homeostasis leads to increased accumulation and aggregation of α-syn in Lewy body. Based on the important role of α-syn from pathogenesis to therapeutics, the recent researches are mainly focused on deciphering the critical role of α-syn at advanced level. Being a major protein in Lewy body that has a key role in pathogenesis of PD, several model systems including immortalized cell lines (SH-SY5Y), primary neuronal cultures, yeast (saccharomyces cerevisiae), drosophila (fruit flies), nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans) and rodents are being employed to understand the PD pathogenesis and treatment. In order to study the etiopathogensis and develop novel therapeutic target for α -syn aggregation, majority of investigators rely on toxin (rotenone, 1-Methyl-4-Phenyl-1,2,3,6- Tetrahydropyridine, 6-hydroxydopamine, paraquat)-induced animal models of PD as a tool for basic research. Whereas, cell and tissue based models are mostly utilized to elucidate the mechanistic and molecular pathways underlying the α -syn induced toxicity and therapeutic approaches in PD. Gene modified mouse models based on α-syn expression are fascinating for modeling familial PD and toxin induced models provide a suitable approach for sporadic PD. The purpose of this review is to provide a summary and a critical review of the involvement of α-syn in various in vitro and in vivo models of PD based on use of neurotoxins as well as genetic modifications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1240-1252
Number of pages13
JournalCNS and Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Animal
  • Environmental toxins
  • Experimental
  • Models
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Neurotoxins
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • α-synuclein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology


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