The synaptic protein α-synuclein has been identified as a major component of Lewy bodies, a pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD). Prior to the formation of Lewy bodies, mislocalization and aggregation of the α-synuclein in brain tissue is frequently observed in various neurodegenerative diseases. Aberrant accumulation and localization of α-synuclein are also observed in the aging human brain, for which reason aging is regarded as a risk factor for neurodegenerative disease. To investigate changes in α-synuclein properties in the aging brain, we compared α-synuclein immunoreactivity in brain tissue of young (2-years-old) and middle-aged (6-years-old) common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). Our analyses revealed marked changes in α-synuclein immunoreactivity in the olfactory bulb of common marmosets of these age cohorts. Perikaryal α-synuclein aggregations were formed in the olfactory bulb in middle-aged animals. We also observed signals of α-synuclein accumulation in hippocampus in this cohort; however, unlike in the olfactory bulb, hippocampal α-synuclein signals were localized in the synaptic terminals. We did not observe either of these features in younger marmosets, which suggest that aging may play a role in these phenomena.Our results using common marmoset brain corresponded with the observation that the α-synuclein aggregations were first occurred from olfactory bulb in human normal aged and PD brain. Therefore, common marmoset is expected as useful model for α-synuclein pathology.
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