Fatty acid binding protein 3 enhances the spreading and toxicity of α-synuclein in mouse brain

Yasushi Yabuki, Kazuya Matsuo, Ichiro Kawahata, Naoya Fukui, Tomohiro Mizobata, Yasushi Kawata, Yuji Owada, Norifumi Shioda, Kohji Fukunaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Oligomerization and/or aggregation of α-synuclein (α-Syn) triggers α-synucleinopathies such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. It is known that α-Syn can spread in the brain like prions; however, the mechanism remains unclear. We demonstrated that fatty acid binding protein 3 (FABP3) promotes propagation of α-Syn in mouse brain. Animals were injected with mouse or human α-Syn pre-formed fibrils (PFF) into the bilateral substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). Two weeks after injection of mouse α-Syn PFF, wild-type (WT) mice exhibited motor and cognitive deficits, whereas FABP3 knock-out (Fabp3−/−) mice did not. The number of phosphorylated α-Syn (Ser-129)-positive cells was significantly decreased in Fabp3−/− mouse brain compared to that in WT mice. The SNpc was unilaterally infected with AAV-GFP/FABP3 in Fabp3−/− mice to confirm the involvement of FABP3 in the development of α-Syn PFF toxicity. The number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-and phosphorylated α-Syn (Ser-129)-positive cells following α-Syn PFF injection significantly decreased in Fabp3−/− mice and markedly increased by AAV-GFP/FABP3 infection. Finally, we confirmed that the novel FABP3 inhibitor MF1 significantly antagonized motor and cognitive impairments by preventing α-Syn spreading following α-Syn PFF injection. Overall, FABP3 enhances α-Syn spreading in the brain following α-Syn PFF injection, and the FABP3 ligand MF1 represents an attractive therapeutic candidate for α-synucleinopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2230
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 2


  • Fatty acid binding protein 3
  • α-synuclein
  • α-synuclein propagation
  • α-synucleinopathy


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