Nat Commun 14 (1) 5804 [2023-09-19; online 2023-09-19]
Prosaposin (PSAP) modulates glycosphingolipid metabolism and variants have been linked to Parkinson's disease (PD). Here, we find altered PSAP levels in the plasma, CSF and post-mortem brain of PD patients. Altered plasma and CSF PSAP levels correlate with PD-related motor impairments. Dopaminergic PSAP-deficient (cPSAPDAT) mice display hypolocomotion and depression/anxiety-like symptoms with mildly impaired dopaminergic neurotransmission, while serotonergic PSAP-deficient (cPSAPSERT) mice behave normally. Spatial lipidomics revealed an accumulation of highly unsaturated and shortened lipids and reduction of sphingolipids throughout the brains of cPSAPDAT mice. The overexpression of α-synuclein via AAV lead to more severe dopaminergic degeneration and higher p-Ser129 α-synuclein levels in cPSAPDAT mice compared to WT mice. Overexpression of PSAP via AAV and encapsulated cell biodelivery protected against 6-OHDA and α-synuclein toxicity in wild-type rodents. Thus, these findings suggest PSAP may maintain dopaminergic lipid homeostasis, which is dysregulated in PD, and counteract experimental parkinsonism.