A 14-day pulse of PLX5622 modifies α-synucleinopathy in preformed fibril-infused aged mice of both sexes



Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

Neurobiology of Disease






Dementia, Lewy body, Microglia, Neurodegeneration, Olfactory bulb, Parkinson's disease, PLX5622, Preformed fibril, Sex, Synuclein


Reactive microglia are observed with aging and in Lewy body disorders, including within the olfactory bulb of men with Parkinson's disease. However, the functional impact of microglia in these disorders is still debated. Resetting these reactive cells by a brief dietary pulse of the colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) inhibitor PLX5622 may hold therapeutic potential against Lewy-related pathologies. To our knowledge, withdrawal of PLX5622 after short-term exposure has not been tested in the preformed α-synuclein fibril (PFF) model, including in aged mice of both sexes. Compared to aged female mice, we report that aged males on the control diet showed higher numbers of phosphorylated α-synuclein+ inclusions in the limbic rhinencephalon after PFFs were injected in the posterior olfactory bulb. However, aged females displayed larger inclusion sizes compared to males. Short-term (14-day) dietary exposure to PLX5622 followed by control chow reduced inclusion numbers and levels of insoluble α-synuclein in aged males—but not females—and unexpectedly raised inclusion sizes in both sexes. Transient delivery of PLX5622 also improved spatial reference memory in PFF-infused aged mice, as evidenced by an increase in novel arm entries in a Y-maze. Superior memory was positively correlated with inclusion sizes but negatively correlated with inclusion numbers. Although we caution that PLX5622 delivery must be tested further in models of α-synucleinopathy, our data suggest that larger-sized—but fewer—α-synucleinopathic structures are associated with better neurological outcomes in PFF-infused aged mice.

Open Access