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Neuroreport

Expression of beta-synuclein in normal human astrocytes.


PMID 11588588

Abstract

Although alpha- and beta-synucleins are expressed predominantly in presynaptic nerve terminals, recent studies have demonstrated that alpha-synuclein is also expressed in cultured astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. We determined whether beta-synuclein might be expressed in astrocytes. Beta-synuclein mRNA and protein were detected in normal human astrocytes in culture, and immunofluorescent staining showed that beta-synuclein protein was expressed within the cytoplasm and nucleus. Furthermore, beta-synuclein immunoreactivity was present in astrocytes, but not in oligodendrocytes, in normal human brain tissues. Ultrastructurally, beta-synuclein immunoreactivity was found in the cytoplasm of astrocytes, in association with the plasma membrane, ribosomes, rough endoplasmic reticulum and the nuclear outer membrane. The novel expression of beta-synuclein in astrocytes may provide an important insight about the role of this protein.

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