The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism (rs6265) enhances dopamine neuron graft efficacy and side-effect liability in rs6265 knock-in rats
Prevalent in approximately 20% of the worldwide human population, the rs6265 (also called 'Val66Met') single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the gene for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a common genetic variant that can alter therapeutic responses in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). Possession of the variant Met allele results in decreased activity-dependent release of BDNF. Given the resurgent worldwide interest in neural transplantation for PD and the biological relevance of BDNF, the current studies examined the effects of the rs6265 SNP on therapeutic efficacy and side-effect development following primary dopamine (DA) neuron transplantation. Considering the significant reduction in BDNF release associated with rs6265, we hypothesized that rs6265-mediated dysfunctional BDNF signaling contributes to the limited clinical benefit observed in a subpopulation of PD patients despite robust survival of grafted DA neurons, and further, that this mutation contributes to the development of aberrant graft-induced dyskinesias (GID). To this end, we generated a CRISPR knock-in rat model of the rs6265 BDNF SNP to examine for the first time the influence of a common genetic polymorphism on graft survival, functional efficacy, and side-effect liability, comparing these parameters between wild-type (Val/Val) rats and those homozygous for the variant Met allele (Met/Met). Counter to our hypothesis, the current research indicates that Met/Met rats show enhanced graft-associated therapeutic efficacy and a paradoxical enhancement of graft-derived neurite outgrowth compared to wild-type rats. However, consistent with our hypothesis, we demonstrate that the rs6265 genotype in the host rat is strongly linked to development of GID, and that this behavioral phenotype is significantly correlated with neurochemical signatures of atypical glutamatergic neurotransmission by grafted DA neurons.
BDNF, Neural grafting, Parkinson’s disease, Val66Met, Val68Met, rs6265
Medical Subject Headings
Animals; Antiparkinson Agents (adverse effects); Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (genetics); Cell Transplantation (adverse effects, methods); Dopaminergic Neurons (metabolism, transplantation); Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced (etiology); Dyskinesias (etiology, genetics); Embryo, Mammalian; Gene Knock-In Techniques; Levodopa (adverse effects); Mesencephalon (cytology); Oxidopamine (toxicity); Parkinson Disease, Secondary (chemically induced); Rats; Sympatholytics (toxicity); Vesicular Glutamate Transport Protein 2 (metabolism)
Neurobiology of disease
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Mercado, Natosha M.; Stancati, Jennifer A.; Sortwell, Caryl E.; Mueller, Rebecca L.; Boezwinkle, Samuel A.; Duffy, Megan F.; Fischer, D Luke; Sandoval, Ivette M.; Manfredsson, Fredric P.; Collier, Timothy J.; and Steece-Collier, Kathy, "The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism (rs6265) enhances dopamine neuron graft efficacy and side-effect liability in rs6265 knock-in rats" (2021). Translational Neuroscience. 1458.