Dihydromyricetin and Salvianolic acid B inhibit alpha-synuclein aggregation and enhance chaperone-mediated autophagy

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Background: Progressive accumulation of α-synuclein is a key step in the pathological development of Parkinson's disease. Impaired protein degradation and increased levels of α-synuclein may trigger a pathological aggregation in vitro and in vivo. The chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) pathway is involved in the intracellular degradation processes of α-synuclein. Dysfunction of the CMA pathway impairs α-synuclein degradation and causes cytotoxicity.

Results: In the present study, we investigated the effects on the CMA pathway and α-synuclein aggregation using bioactive ingredients (Dihydromyricetin (DHM) and Salvianolic acid B (Sal B)) extracted from natural medicinal plants. In both cell-free and cellular models of α-synuclein aggregation, after administration of DHM and Sal B, we observed significant inhibition of α-synuclein accumulation and aggregation. Cells were co-transfected with a C-terminal modified α-synuclein (SynT) and synphilin-1, and then treated with DHM (10 μM) and Sal B (50 μM) 16 hours after transfection; levels of α-synuclein aggregation decreased significantly (68% for DHM and 75% for Sal B). Concomitantly, we detected increased levels of LAMP-1 (a marker of lysosomal homeostasis) and LAMP-2A (a key marker of CMA). Immunofluorescence analyses showed increased colocalization between LAMP-1 and LAMP-2A with α-synuclein inclusions after treatment with DHM and Sal B. We also found increased levels of LAMP-1 and LAMP-2A both in vitro and in vivo, along with decreased levels of α-synuclein. Moreover, DHM and Sal B treatments exhibited anti-inflammatory activities, preventing astroglia- and microglia-mediated neuroinflammation in BAC-α-syn-GFP transgenic mice.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that DHM and Sal B are effective in modulating α-synuclein accumulation and aggregate formation and augmenting activation of CMA, holding potential for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.


External organisations
  • Northeastern University
  • Sheng Jing Hospital
  • China Medical University, Shenyang
  • United Arab Emirates University
  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • University Medical Center Göttingen
  • Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurology
Original languageEnglish
Article number18
JournalTranslational Neurodegeneration
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch