Active, phosphorylation-dependent mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK/ERK), stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal kinase (SAPK/JNK), and p38 kinase expression in Parkinson's disease and Dementia with Lewy bodies.J Neural Transm (Vienna) 2001; 108(12):1383-96JN
The expression of mitogen-activated protein kinases, extracellular signal-regulated kinases (MAPK/ERK), stress-activated protein kinases, c-Jun N-terminal kinases (SAPK/JNK), and p38 kinases is examined in Parkinson disease (PD), in Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), covering common and pure forms, and in age-matched controls. The study is geared to gaining understanding about the involvement of these kinases in the pathogenesis of Lewy bodies (LBs) and associated tau deposits in Alzheimer changes in the common form of DLB. Active, phosphorylation dependent MAPK (MAPK-P) is found as granular cytoplasmic inclusions in a subset of cortical neurons bearing abnormal tau deposits in common forms of DLB. Phosphorylated p-38 (p-38-P) decorates neurons with neurofibrillary tangles and dystrophic neurites of senile plaques in common forms of DLB. Phosphorylated SAPK/JNK (SAPK/JNK-P) expression occurs in cortical neurons with neurofibrillary tangles in the common form of DLB. Lewy bodies (LBs) in the brain stem of PD and DLB are stained with anti-ERK-2 antibodies, but they are not recognized by MAPK-P, SAPK/JNK-P and p-38-P. Yet MAPK-P, p-38-P and SAPK/JNK-P immunoreactivity is found in cytoplasmic granules in the vicinity of LBs or in association with irregular-shaped or diffuse alpha-synuclein deposits in a small percentage of neurons, not containing phosphorylated tau, of the brain stem in PD and DLB. MAPK-P, p-38-P and SAPK-P are not expressed in cortical LBs or in cortical neurons with alpha-synuclein-only inclusions in DLB. MAPK-P, p-38-P and SAPK/JNK-P are not expressed in alpha-synuclein-positive neurites (Lewy neurites) in PD and DLB as revealed by double-labeling immunohistochemistry. These results show that MAPKs are differentially regulated in neurons with alpha-synuclein-related inclusions and in neurons with abnormal tau deposits in DLB. Moreover, different kinase expression in brain stem and cortical LBs suggest a pathogenesis of brain stem and cortical LBs in LB diseases. Finally, no relationship has been observed between MAPK-P, p-38-P and SAPK/JNK-P expression and increased nuclear DNA vulnerability, as revealed with the method of in situ end-labeling of nuclear DNA fragmentation, and active, cleaved caspase-3 expression in neurons and glial cells in the substantia nigra in PD and DLB.