Heat Shock Protein 70 as a Sex-Skewed Regulator of α-Synucleinopathy.

Neurotherapeutics : the Journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics
Tarun N BhatiaRehana K Leak


The role of molecular chaperones, such as heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), is not typically studied as a function of biological sex, but by addressing this gap we might improve our understanding of proteinopathic disorders that predominate in one sex. Therefore, we exposed male or female primary hippocampal cultures to preformed α-synuclein fibrils in a model of early-stage Lewy pathology. We first discovered that two mechanistically distinct inhibitors of Hsp70 function increased phospho-α-synuclein+ inclusions more robustly in male-derived neurons. Because Hsp70 is released into extracellular compartments and may restrict cell-to-cell transmission/amplification of α-synucleinopathy, we then tested the effects of low-endotoxin, exogenous Hsp70 (eHsp70) in primary hippocampal cultures. eHsp70 was taken up by and reduced α-synuclein+ inclusions in cells of both sexes, but pharmacological suppression of Hsp70 function attenuated the inhibitory effect of eHsp70 on perinuclear inclusions only in male neurons. In 20-month-old male mice infused with α-synuclein fibrils in the olfactory bulb, daily intranasal eHsp70 delivery also reduced inclusion numbers and the time to locate buried food. eHsp70 penetrated the limbic system and spinal...Continue Reading


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