Neurotoxicity research

CX3CR1 Disruption Differentially Influences Dopaminergic Neuron Degeneration in Parkinsonian Mice Depending on the Neurotoxin and Route of Administration.

PMID 26403659


Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons accompanied by an inflammatory reaction. The neuron-derived chemokine fractalkine (CX3CL1) is an exclusive ligand for the receptor CX3CR1 expressed on microglia. The CX3CL1/CX3CR1 signaling is important for sustaining microglial activity. Using a recently developed PD model, in which the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) toxin is delivered intranasally, we hypothesized that CX3CR1 could play a role in neurotoxicity and glial activation. For this, we used CX3CR1 knock-in mice and compared results with those obtained using the classical PD models through intraperitonal MPTP or intrastriatal 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). The striatum from all genotypes (CX3CR1(+/+), CX3CR1(+/GFP) and CX3CR1-deficient mice) showed a significant dopaminergic depletion after intranasal MPTP inoculation. In contrast to that, we could not see differences in the number of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of CX3CR1-deficient animals. Similarly, after 6-OHDA infusion, the CX3CR1 deletion decreased the amphetamine-induced turning behavior observed in CX3CR1(+/GFP) mice. After the 6-OHDA inoculation, a minor dopaminergic neuronal loss was observed in the substantia nigra from CX3CR1-deficient mice. Distinctly, a more extensive neuronal cell loss was observed in the substantia nigra after the intraperitoneal MPTP injection in CX3CR1 disrupted animals, corroborating previous results. Intranasal and intraperitoneal MPTP inoculation induced a similar microgliosis in CX3CR1-deficient mice but a dissimilar change in the astrocyte proliferation in the substantia nigra. Nigral astrocyte proliferation was observed only after intraperitoneal MPTP inoculation. In conclusion, intranasal MPTP and 6-OHDA lesion in CX3CR1-deficient mice yield no nigral dopaminergic neuron loss, linked to the absence of astroglial proliferation.