Alpha-synuclein: Pathology, mitochondrial dysfunction and neuroinflammation in Parkinson's disease

Academic Article


  • Parkinson's disease (PD) is a complex, chronic and progressive neurodegenerative disease. While the etiology of PD is likely multifactorial, the protein α-synuclein is a central component to the pathogenesis of the disease. However, the mechanism by which α-synuclein causes toxicity and contributes to neuronal death remains unclear. Mitochondrial dysfunction is also widely considered to play a major role in the underlying mechanisms contributing to neurodegeneration in PD. This review discusses evidence for the neuropathological role for α-synuclein in the dysfunction of dopamine neurons in PD. We also discuss insights into the structure, localization, and cellular roles for α-synuclein that may influence its aggregation properties, ultimately impacting its pathogenicity, role in lysosomal dysfunction and activation of the neuroimmune response. We further highlight recent evidence linking α-synuclein and mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegeneration. Identifying the underlying mechanisms responsible for this bi-directional relationship between α-synuclein and mitochondrial dysfunction may provide new insights into the pathophysiology of PD.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rocha EM; De Miranda B; Sanders LH
  • Start Page

  • 249
  • End Page

  • 257
  • Volume

  • 109