Alpha-Synuclein Autoimmune Decline in Prodromal Multiple System Atrophy and Parkinson's Disease

Jonas Folke, Emil Bergholt, Bente Pakkenberg, Susana Aznar, Tomasz Brudek


Multiple-system trophy (MSA) and Parkinson's Disease (PD) are both progressive, neurodegenerative diseases characterized by neuropathological deposition of aggregated alpha-synuclein (αSyn). The causes behind this aggregation are still unknown. We have reported aberrancies in MSA and PD patients in naturally occurring autoantibodies (nAbs) against αSyn (anti-αSyn-nAbs), which are important partakers in anti-aggregatory processes, immune-mediated clearance, and anti-inflammatory functions. To elaborate further on the timeline of autoimmune aberrancies towards αSyn, we investigated here the Immunoglobulin (Ig) affinity profile and subclass composition (IgG-total, IgG1-4 and IgM) of anti-αSyn-nAbs in serum samples from prodromal (p) phases of MSA and PD. Using an electrochemiluminescence competition immunoassay, we confirmed that the repertoire of high-affinity anti-αSyn-nAbs is significantly reduced in pMSA and pPD. Further, we demonstrated that pPD had increased anti-αSyn IgG-total levels compared to pMSA and controls, concordant with increased anti-αSyn IgG1 levels in pPD. Anti-αSyn IgG2 and IgG4 levels were reduced in pMSA and pPD compared with controls, whereas anti-αSyn IgG3 levels were reduced in pMSA compared to pPD and controls. The results indicate that the impaired reactivity towards αSyn occurs prior to disease onset. The apparent lack of high-affinity anti-αSyn nAbs may result in reduced clearance of αSyn, leading to aggregation of the protein. Thus, this study provides novel insights into possible causes behind the pathogenesis in synucleinopathies such as MSA and PD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6554
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2022


  • Autoantibodies
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Multiple System Atrophy
  • Parkinson Disease/metabolism
  • alpha-Synuclein/metabolism


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