Spread of α-synuclein pathology through the brain connectome is modulated by selective vulnerability and predicted by network analysis

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TitleSpread of α-synuclein pathology through the brain connectome is modulated by selective vulnerability and predicted by network analysis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsHenderson, MX, Cornblath, EJ, Darwich, A, Zhang, B, Brown, H, Gathagan, RJ, Sandler, RM, Bassett, DS, Trojanowski, JQ, Lee, VMY
JournalNature neuroscience
Volume22
Pagination1248
Abstract

Studies of patients afflicted by neurodegenerative diseases suggest that misfolded proteins spread through the brain along anatomically connected networks, prompting progressive decline. Recently, mouse models have recapitulated the cell-to-cell transmission of pathogenic proteins and neuron death observed in patients. However, the factors regulating the spread of pathogenic proteins remain a matter of debate due to an incomplete understanding of how vulnerability functions in the context of spread. Here we use quantitative pathology mapping in the mouse brain, combined with network modeling to understand the spatiotemporal pattern of spread. Patterns of α-synuclein pathology are well described by a network model that is based on two factors: anatomical connectivity and endogenous α-synuclein expression. The map and model allow the assessment of selective vulnerability to α-synuclein pathology development and neuron death. Finally, we use quantitative pathology to understand how the G2019S LRRK2 genetic risk factor affects the spread and toxicity of α-synuclein pathology.