Author(s): Plum S, Helling S, Theiss C, Leite RE, May C,
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Abstract This article gives a detailed description of a protocol using density gradient centrifugation for the enrichment of neuromelanin granules and synaptosomes from low amounts (≥0.15g) of human substantia nigra pars compacta tissue. This has a great advantage compared to already existing methods as it allows for the first time (i) a combined enrichment of neuromelanin granules and synaptosomes and (ii) just minimal amounts of tissue necessary to enable donor specific analysis. Individual specimens were classified as control or diseased according to clinical evaluation and neuropathological examination. For the enrichment of synaptosomes and neuromelanin granules from the same tissue sample density gradient centrifugations using Percoll® and Iodixanol were performed. The purity of resulting fractions was checked by transmission electron microscopy. We were able to establish a reproducible and easy to handle protocol combining two different density gradient centrifugations: using an Iodixanol gradient neuromelanin granules were enriched and in parallel, from the same sample, a fraction of synaptosomes with high purity using a Percoll® gradient was obtained. Our subfractionation strategy will enable a subsequent in depth proteomic characterization of neurodegenerative processes in the substantia nigra pars compacta in patients with Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies compared to appropriate controls. BIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Key features of Parkinson's disease are the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta, an associated loss of the brain pigment neuromelanin and a resulting impairment of the neuronal network. The accumulation of iron binding neuromelanin granules is age- and disease-dependent and disease specific alterations could affect the neuronal iron homeostasis leading to oxidative stress induced cell death. The focus of the described method is the analysis of neuromelanin granules as well as axonal cell-endings of nerve cells (synaptosomes) of individual donors (control and diseased). It is the basis for the identification of disease-relevant changes in the iron homeostasis and the generation of new insight into altered protein compositions or regulations which might lead to disturbed communications between nerve cells resulting in pathogenic processes. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Proteomics
and referenced in Journal of Biomolecular Research & Therapeutics