Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 112, Issue 12, pp 1613–1624 | Cite as

Absence of α-synuclein mRNA expression in normal and multiple system atrophy oligodendroglia

  • D. W. Miller
  • J. M. Johnson
  • S. M. Solano
  • Z. R. Hollingsworth
  • D. G. Standaert
  • A. B. Young


α-Synuclein is a major constituent of glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs), which are pathognomic for multiple system atrophy (MSA). We have previously demonstrated that in normal human brain, α-synuclein mRNA has a restricted pattern of neuronal expression and no apparent glial expression. The current study used double-label in situ hybridization to determine if α-synuclein mRNA is expressed by oligodendroglia of MSA cases. Analysis of MSA brain tissue revealed depletion of regional signal for this transcript in many brain areas due to extensive neurodegeneration. Cellular analysis of oligodendroglia in crus cerebri, a GCI-rich region ventral to substantia nigra, revealed an absence of α-synuclein mRNA signal in control and MSA cases. However, an abundance of this transcript was detected in melanin-containing neurons of substantia nigra. Therefore, oligodendroglia do not express α-synuclein mRNA in control and MSA cases suggesting that involvement of α-synuclein in GCI pathology of MSA is due to its ectopic presence in oligodendroglia.

Keywords: Glial cytoplasmic inclusion, in situ hybridization, synucleinopathy. 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. W. Miller
    • 1
  • J. M. Johnson
    • 2
  • S. M. Solano
    • 2
  • Z. R. Hollingsworth
    • 2
  • D. G. Standaert
    • 2
  • A. B. Young
    • 2
  1. 1.Cell Biology and Gene Expression Section, Laboratory of Neurogenetics, NIABethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Mass General Institute for Neurodegenerative DiseaseCharlestownUSA

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