COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Selective enrichment of DJ-1 protein in primate striatal neuronal processes: implications for Parkinson's disease

James A Olzmann, Jill R Bordelon, E Chris Muly, Howard D Rees, Allan I Levey, Lian Li, Lih-Shen Chin
Journal of Comparative Neurology 2007 January 20, 500 (3): 585-99
17120294
Mutations in DJ-1 cause autosomal recessive, early-onset Parkinson's disease (PD). The precise function and distribution of DJ-1 in the central nervous system remain unclear. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of DJ-1 expression in human, monkey, and rat brains with antibodies that recognize distinct, evolutionarily conserved epitopes of DJ-1. We found that DJ-1 displays region-specific neuronal and glial labeling in human and nonhuman primate brain, sharply contrasting with the primarily neuronal expression pattern observed throughout rat brain. Further immunohistochemical analysis of DJ-1 expression in human and nonhuman primate brains showed that DJ-1 protein is expressed in neurons within the substantia nigra pars compacta and striatum, two regions critically involved in PD pathogenesis. Moreover, immunoelectron microscopic analysis revealed a selective enrichment of DJ-1 within primate striatal axons, presynaptic terminals, and dendritic spines with respect to the DJ-1 expression in prefrontal cortex. Together, these findings indicate neuronal and synaptic expression of DJ-1 in primate subcortical brain regions and suggest a physiological role for DJ-1 in the survival and/or function of nigral-striatal neurons.

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