Scientific publications

Glucocerebrosidase expression patterns in the non-human primate brain

Jan 1, 2018 | Magazine: Brain Structure & Function

Iria G Dopeso-Reyes, Diego Sucunza, Alberto J Rico, Diego Pignataro, David Marín-Ramos, Elvira Roda, Ana I Rodríguez-Pérez, José L Labandeira-García, José L Lanciego


Glucocerebrosidase (GCase) is a lysosomal enzyme encoded by the GBA1 gene. Mutations in GBA1 gene lead to Gaucher's disease, the most prevalent lysosomal storage disorder. GBA1 mutations reduce GCase activity, therefore promoting the aggregation of alpha-synuclein, a common neuropathological finding underlying Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies.

However, it is also worth noting that a direct link between GBA1 mutations and alpha-synuclein aggregation indicating cause and effect is still lacking, with limited experimental evidence to date. Bearing in mind that a number of strategies increasing GCase expression for the treatment of PD are currently under development, here we sought to analyze the baseline expression of GCase in the brain of Macaca fascicularis, which has often been considered as the gold-standard animal model of PD.

Although as with other lysosomal enzymes, GCase is expected to be ubiquitously expressed, here a number of regional variations have been consistently found, together with several specific neurochemical phenotypes expressing very high levels of GCase.

In this regard, the most enriched expression of GCase was constantly found in cholinergic neurons from the nucleus basalis of Meynert, dopaminergic cells in the substantia nigra pars compacta, serotoninergic neurons from the raphe nuclei, as well as in noradrenergic neurons located in the locus ceruleus. Moreover, it is also worth noting that moderate levels of expression were also found in a number of areas within the paleocortex and archicortex, such as the entorhinal cortex and the hippocampal formation, respectively.

CITATION  Brain Struct Funct. 2018 Jan;223(1):343-355. doi: 10.1007/s00429-017-1504-1. Epub 2017 Aug 23.