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α-synuclein-lack expression rescues methamphetamine-induced mossy fiber degeneration in dorsal hippocampal CA3.

Neurotoxicology 2024 Februrary 3
Methamphetamine (METH) - induced cognitive impairments may be related to synaptic degeneration at mossy fiber terminals, critical for spatial memory formation in hippocampal circuits. We have previously found METH-induced neurodegeneration in the striatum by increasing the α-synuclein (α-SYN) level. However, whether and how the METH-induced mossy fiber degeneration is also blamed for the abnormal accumulation of α-SYN remains to be elucidated. Chronic METH exposure decreased mossy fiber density but upregulatedα-SYN and phosphorylated TAU (TAU-pSer396) in hippocampal CA3, associated with glial cell overactivation, axonal neuropathies, and memory impairment. Notably, the knockout of the α-SYN gene significantly alleviated the METH-induced mossy fiber degeneration and memory impairment. Meanwhile, the TAU-pSer396 accumulation and glial activation were ameliorated by α-SYN knockout. Our findings suggest an essential role of α-SYN in mediating METH-induced mossy fiber degeneration, providing promising therapeutic and prophylactic targets for METH-related neurodegenerative diseases.

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