Author ORCID Identifier

Clifford V. Harding

Robert W. Maitta

Document Type


Publication Date



Effects of α-synuclein deficiency on cellular blood components have not been extensively investigated. This study evaluated ultrastructural changes of leukocytes in α-synuclein knockout (KO) mice using electron microscopy (EM). The following ultrastructural characteristics were quantified in leukocytes: mitochondria, primary granules, specific granules (SG), Golgi apparatus (GA), inclusions, rough-endoplasmic reticulum (RER), smooth-endoplasmic reticulum (SER), and cellular projections (CP). EM showed increased numbers or amounts of SG, inclusions, and SER in KO group (5.3 ± 4.5 in WT vs. 14.1 ± 10.3 in KO, p = 0.02; 0.4 ± 0.9 in WT vs. 3.2 ± 2.8 in KO, p = 0.007; and 7.7 ± 6.7 in WT vs. 17.7 ± 12.2 in KO, p = 0.03, respectively). Although CP number was not significantly different between the two groups (13.4 ± 5.3 in WT vs. 16.3 ± 7.5 in KO, p = 0.32), their size and shapes were altered in KO mice. Notably, findings occurred in the setting of significant lymphopenia. α-Synuclein deficiency leads to changes in size and shape of secretory particles and increases in SER, SG, and inclusions, indicating a potential role for α-synuclein in vesicular trafficking in leukocytes. Further studies are needed to elucidate functions mediated by α-synuclein.


leukocytes, morphology, ultrastructure, α-synuclein

Publication Title

Blood Cells, Molecules & Diseases



First Page


Last Page



R01 AI034343


National Institutes of Health (NIH); Office of Diversity and Inclusion, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

Included in

Hematology Commons



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