Glial CellsExpression of β-synuclein in normal human astrocytesTanji, KunikazuCA; Mori, Fumiaki; Nakajo, Shigeo1; Imaizumi, Tadaatsu2; Yoshida, Hidemi2; Hirabayashi, Takahiro1; Yoshimoto, Makoto3; Satoh, Kei2; Takahashi, Hitoshi4; Wakabayashi, Koichi Author Information Departments of Molecular Biology and 2Vascular Biology, Institute of Brain Science, Hirosaki University School of Medicine, 5 Zaifu-cho, Hirosaki 036-8562; 1Laboratory of Biological Chemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Showa University, Tokyo; 3Molecular Biology Laboratory, Taisho Pharmaceutical, Saitama; 4Department of Pathology, Brain Research Institute, Niigata University, Niigata, Japan CACorresponding Author Received 10 May 2001; accepted 9 July 2001 Neuroreport: September 17, 2001 - Volume 12 - Issue 13 - p 2845-2848 Buy Abstract Although α- and β-synucleins are expressed predominantly in presynaptic nerve terminals, recent studies have demonstrated that α-synuclein is also expressed in cultured astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. We determined whether β-synuclein might be expressed in astrocytes. β-Synuclein mRNA and protein were detected in normal human astrocytes in culture, and immunofluorescent staining showed that β-synuclein protein was expressed within the cytoplasm and nucleus. Furthermore, β-synuclein immunoreactivity was present in astrocytes, but not in oligodendrocytes, in normal human brain tissues. Ultrastructurally, β-synuclein immunoreactivity was found in the cytoplasm of astrocytes, in association with the plasma membrane, ribosomes, rough endoplasmic reticulum and the nuclear outer membrane. The novel expression of β-synuclein in astrocytes may provide an important insight about the role of this protein. © 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.