Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Educational Lecture 4

Multiple system atrophy-synuclein and neuronal degeneration

Mari Yoshida, M.D.

Institute for Medical Science of Aging, Aichi Medical University

Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a sporadic neurodegenerative disorder that encompasses olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA), striatonigral degeneration (SND) and Shy-Drager syndrome (SDS). The histopathological hallmarks are α-synuclein (AS) positive glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) in oligodendroglias. AS aggregation is also found in glial nuclear inclusions (GNIs), neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs), neuronal nuclear inclusions (NNIs) and dystrophic neurties. Reviewing the pathological features of 102 MSA cases, OPCA-type was relatively more frequent and SND-type was less frequent in Japanese MSA cases, which suggested different phenotypic pattern of MSA might exist between races, compared to the relatively high frequency of SND-type in western countries. In early stage of MSA, NNIs, NCIs and diffuse homogenous stain of AS in neuronal nuclei and cytoplasm were observed in various vulnerable lesions including the pontine nuclei, putamen, substantia nigra, locus ceruleus, inferior olivary nucleus, intermediolateral column of thoracic cord, lower motor neurons and cortical pyramidal neurons, in additions to GCIs. These findings indicated that the primary nonfibrillar and fibrillar AS aggregation also occurred in neurons. Therefore both the direct involvement of neurons themselves and the oligodendroglia-myelin-axon mechanism may synergistically accelerate the degenerative process of MSA.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (494K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 51: 838|842, 2011)
key words: multiple system atrophy, α-synuclein, glial cytoplasmic inclusion, neuronal nuclear inclusion, neuronal cytoplasmic inclusion

(Received: 18-May-11)