Are Oligodendrocytes the Real Source of Pathologic Alpha-synuclein in Multiple System Atrophy?

Congratulatons to YuHong Fu, Scott Kim, Tony Hsiao, Glenda Halliday on being awarded a new an international grant as part of the MSA united research group.

Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a debilitating disorder with parkinsonism and/or cerebellar dysfunction in the clinical phases and non-motor symptoms in the prodromal phase. Although disease-modifying therapy is warranted by the existence of prodromal phase, the early pathophysiological events of the disease need to be defined first. While the definitive diagnosis of MSA relies on the autopsy finding, i.e., widespread inclusions containing pathologic α-synuclein in oligodendrocytes, it remains a mystery how these cells are involved in MSA pathogenesis. We hypothesise that oligodendrocyte precursor cells are the disease target cells and will test this by studying cell models and post-mortem human tissue. Clarification of whether oligodendrocytes are the original source of pathologic α-synuclein and subsequently propagate neurodegeneration will assist with developing clinically definitive diagnosis and preventive strategies.

For more information visit the MSA united research website.

Yuhong MSA grant figure