Expression of alpha-synuclein in different brain parts of adult and aged rats
The synucleins are a family of presynaptic proteins that are abundant in neurons and include alpha-, ß-, and -synuclein. alpha-Synuclein (ASN) is involved in several neurodegenerative age-related disorders but its relevance in physiological aging is unknown. In the present study we investigated the expression of ASN mRNA and protein in the different brain parts of the adult (4-month-old) and aged (24-month-old) rats by using RT-PCR technique and Western blot, respectively. Our results indicated that mRNA expression and immunoreactivity of ASN is similar in brain cortex, hippocampus and striatum but markedly lower in cerebellum comparing to the other brain parts. Aging lowers ASN mRNA expression in striatum and cerebellum by about 40%. The immunoreactivity of ASN in synaptic plasma membranes (SPM) from aged brain cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum is significantly lower comparing to adult by 39%, 24% and 65%, respectively. ß-synuclein (BSN) was not changed in aged brain comparing to adult. Age-related alteration of ASN may affect the nerve terminals structure and function.