Neuroprotective effects of mesenchymal stem cells through autophagy modulation in a parkinsonian model

Hyun Jung Park, Jin Young Shin, Ha Na Kim, Se Hee Oh, Phil Hyu Lee

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65 Citations (Scopus)


Autophagy is a major degradation pathway for abnormal aggregated proteins and organelles that cause various neurodegenerative diseases. Current evidence suggests a central role for autophagy in pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease, and that dysfunction in the autophagic system may lead to α-synuclein accumulation. In the present study, we investigated whether mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) would enhance autophagy and thus exert a neuroprotective effect through the modulation of α-synuclein in parkinsonian models. In MPP+-treated neuronal cells, coculture with MSCs increased cellular viability, attenuated expression of α-synuclein, and enhanced the number of LC3-II-positive autophagosomes compared with cells treated with MPP+ only. In an MPTP-treated animal model of Parkinson's disease, MSC administration significantly increased final maturation of late autophagic vacuoles, fusion with lysosomes. Moreover, MSC administration significantly reduced the level of α-synuclein in dopaminergic neurons, which was elevated in MPTP-treated mice. These results suggest that MSC treatment significantly enhances autophagolysosome formation and may modulate α-synuclein expression in parkinsonian models, which may lead to increased neuronal survival in the presence of neurotoxins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1920-1928
Number of pages9
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and future Planning (NRF-2013R1A2A2A01067761 and NRF-2011-0011286).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Ageing
  • General Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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