Immunostaining of Oxidized DJ-1 in Human and Mouse Brains

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DJ-1, the product of a causative gene of a familial form of Parkinson disease, undergoes preferential oxidation of Cys106 (cysteine residue at position 106) under oxidative stress. Using specific monoclonal antibodies against Cys106 oxidized DJ-1 (oxDJ-1), we examined oxDJ-1 immunoreactivity in brain sections from DJ-1 knockout and wild-type mice and in human brain sections from cases classified into different Lewy body stages of Parkinson disease and Parkinson disease with dementia. Oxidized DJ-1 immunoreactivity was prominently observed in neuromelanin-containing neurons and neuron processes of the substantia nigra; Lewy bodies also showed oxDJ-1 immunoreactivity. Oxidized DJ-1 was also detected in astrocytes in the striatum, in neurons and glia in the red nucleus, and in the inferior olivary nucleus, all of which are related to regulation of movement. These observations suggest the relevance of DJ-1 oxidation to homeostasis in multiple brain regions, including neuromelanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra, and raise the possibility that oxDJ-1 levels might change during the progression of Lewy body–associated neurodegenerative diseases.

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