Altered dopamine release and monoamine transporters in Vps35 p.D620N knock-in mice.

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NPJ Parkinsons Dis. 2018 Aug 21;4:27. doi: 10.1038/s41531-018-0063-3. eCollection 2018.

Altered dopamine release and monoamine transporters in Vps35 p.D620N knock-in mice.

S Cataldi;J Follett;JD Fox;I Tatarnikov;C Kadgien;EK Gustavsson;J Khinda;AJ Milnerwood;MJ Farrer

Centre for Applied Neurogenetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Department of Neurology, St. Olav's Hospital, Trondheim, Norway.

Service type: Knock-in mice


Vacuolar protein sorting 35 (VPS35) is a core component of the retromer trimer required for endosomal membrane-associated protein trafficking. The discovery of a missense mutation, Vps35 p.D620N implicates retromer dysfunction in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). We have characterized a knock-in mouse with a Vps35 p.D620N substitution (hereafter referred to as VKI) at 3 months of age. Standardized behavioral testing did not observe overt movement disorder. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive nigral neuron counts and terminal expression in striata were comparable across genotypes. Fast scan cyclic voltammetry revealed increased dopamine release in VKI striatal slices. While extracellular dopamine collected via striatal microdialysis of freely moving animals was comparable across genotypes, the ratio of dopamine metabolites to dopamine suggests increased dopamine turnover in VKI homozygous mice. Western blot of striatal proteins revealed a genotype-dependent decrease in dopamine transporter (DAT) along with an increase in vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2), albeit independent of changes in other synaptic markers. The reduction in DAT was further supported by immunohistochemical analysis. The data show that the dopaminergic system of VKI mice is profoundly altered relative to wild-type littermates. We conclude early synaptic dysfunction contributes to age-related pathophysiology in the nigrostriatal system that may lead to parkinsonism in man.

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