Transcriptomic signatures of brain regional vulnerability to Parkinson’s disease

Abstract: The molecular mechanisms underlying caudal-to-rostral progression of Lewy body pathology in Parkinson’s disease remain poorly understood. Here, we identified transcriptomic signatures across brain regions involved in Braak Lewy body stages in non-neurological adults from the Allen Human Brain Atlas. Among the genes that are indicative of regional vulnerability, we found known genetic risk factors for Parkinson’s disease: SCARB2, ELOVL7, SH3GL2, SNCA, BAP1, and ZNF184. Results were confirmed in two datasets of non-neurological subjects, while in two datasets of Parkinson’s disease patients we found altered expression patterns. Co-expression analysis across vulnerable regions identified a module enriched for genes associated with dopamine synthesis and microglia, and another module related to the immune system, blood-oxygen transport, and endothelial cells. Both were highly expressed in regions involved in the preclinical stages of the disease. Finally, alterations in genes underlying these region-specific functions may contribute to the selective regional vulnerability in Parkinson’s disease brains.

Arlin Keo, Ahmed Mahfouz, Angela M.T. Ingrassia, Jean-Pascal Meneboo, Celine Villenet, et al. Transcriptomic signatures of brain regional vulnerability to Parkinson’s disease. Communications Biology, 3: 2020.
@article { bib:2019_PDvulnerability,
author = { Arlin Keo and Ahmed Mahfouz and Angela M.T. Ingrassia and Jean-Pascal Meneboo and Celine Villenet and Eug{\nie Mutez and Thomas Comptdaer and Boudewijn Lelieveldt and Martin Figeac and Marie-Christine Chartier-Harlin and Wilma D.J. van de Berg and Jacobus J. van Hilten and Marcel Reinders },
title = { Transcriptomic signatures of brain regional vulnerability to Parkinson’s disease },
journal = { Communications Biology },
volume = { 3 },
year = { 2020 },
doi = { 10.1038/s42003-020-0804-9 },
}
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