Intranasal Carnosine Mitigatesα-Synuclein Pathology and Motor Dysfunction in the Thy1-aSyn Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease.
ACS Chem Neurosci. 2021 07 7 ;12(13):2347-2359. Epub 2021 Jun 17. PMID: 34138535
Josephine M Brown
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder. Early symptoms include motor dysfunction and impaired olfaction. Toxic aggregation ofα-synuclein (aSyn) in the olfactory bulb (OB) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) is a hallmark of PD neuropathology. Intranasal (IN) carnosine (2 mg/d for 8 weeks) was previously demonstrated to improve motor behavior and mitochondrial function in Thy1-aSyn mice, a model of PD. The present studies evaluated the efficacy of IN carnosine at a higher dose in slowing progression of motor deficits and aSyn accumulation in Thy1-aSyn mice. After baseline neurobehavioral assessments, IN carnosine was administered (0.0, 2.0, or 4.0 mg/day) to wild-type and Thy1-aSyn mice for 8 weeks. Olfactoryand motor behavioral measurements were repeated prior to end point tissue collection. Brain sections were immunostained for aSyn and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Immunopositive cells were counted using design-based stereology in the SNpc and OB mitral cell layer (MCL). Behavioral assessments revealeda dose-dependent improvement in motor function with increasing carnosine dose. Thy1-aSyn mice treated with 2.0 or 4.0 mg/d IN carnosine exhibited fewer aSyn-positive (aSyn(+)) cell bodies in the SNpc compared to vehicle-treated mice. Moreover, the number of aSyn(+) cell bodies in carnosine-treated Thy1-aSyn mice was reduced to vehicle-treated wild-type levels in the SNpc. Carnosine treatment did not affect the number of aSyn(+) cell bodies in the OB-MCL or the number of TH(+) cells in the SNpc. In summary, intranasal carnosine treatment decreased aSyn accumulation in the SNpc, which may underlie its mitigation of motor deficits in the Thy1-aSyn mice.