Neurotoxicity Research

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 435–442

Oxidative Stress Partially Contributes to Iron-Induced Alpha-Synuclein Aggregation in SK-N-SH Cells


DOI: 10.1007/s12640-010-9187-x

Cite this article as:
Li, W., Jiang, H., Song, N. et al. Neurotox Res (2011) 19: 435. doi:10.1007/s12640-010-9187-x


Intracellular Lewy body formation is one of the hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease (PD). As its main component, aggregated alpha-synuclein is presented in the substantia nigra, the same region iron accumulation occurs. In this study, the relationship between iron and alpha-synuclein aggregation was investigated. In the remaining cells, 1 mmol/l ferric and ferrous iron could induce cell loss in SK-N-SH cells and alpha-synulein aggregation. Pretreatment with 5 μmol/l vitamin E, a potent intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger could totally abolish ROS formation and cell viability reduction induced by ferric and ferrous iron treatment. However, the intracellular alpha-synuclein aggregation could only be partially alleviated. Due to the predicted iron responsive element (IRE) in the 5′-untranslated region of the human alpha-synuclein mRNA contains, we observed that alpha-synuclein mRNA level was up-regulated in SK-N-SH cells with iron regulatory protein (IRP) knockdown and more alpha-synuclein aggregations were observed in cells. The results suggest that iron-induced intracellular aggregated alpha-synuclein is partially dependent on oxidative stress and iron might also regulate alpha-synuclein aggregation through the IRE/IRP system.


Parkinson’s disease Alpha-synuclein Iron Vitamin E Oxidative stress Iron responsive element Iron regulatory protein 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyShandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Pathogenesis and Prevention of Neurological Disorders and State Key Disciplines: Physiology, Medical College of Qingdao UniversityQingdaoChina