Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Advances in Alzheimer’s research by Dr. Caghan Kizil and his research group

20.10.2016

The research team of Dr. Caghan Kizil at the DFG-Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) - Cluster of Excellence at the TU Dresden, achieved a major advance in Alzheimer’s research. They showed how a diseased vertebrate brain can naturally react to Alzheimer’s pathology by forming more neurons. Two proteins (Interleukin-4 and STAT6) have been identified to be relevant for this process. This is a big step towards the understanding, prevention or even healing of Alzheimer’s disease – a disease with about 170,000 new cases diagnosed every year in Germany. The results have been published in the scientific journal Cell Reports this week.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. Affected people are troubled with symptoms like memory loss, disorientation or changes in behavior. Patients are affected in their day-to-day life and are dependent on the help of others. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases worldwide, mainly affecting people above the age of 65. Alzheimer's disease has no current cure, which together with the high number of new cases each year emphasizes the high relevance of research in this field.


The image shows the spatial organization of immune cells (green) and neurons (red) on a cross section of adult zebrafish forebrain (cell nuclei: blue).

© Kizil Lab


Caghan Kizil, PhD

© CRTD

The study of the laboratory of Dr. Caghan Kizil used the animal model zebrafish, which can regenerate their brain. Zebrafish have an extensive ability to replenish the lost neurons after various types of damage, and the team led by Dr. Kizil showed that it can also do so after Alzheimer-like neurodegeneration. This is an ability humans do not have. Evolutionarily, the zebrafish and human beings are very similar: the cell types in the zebrafish brain and their physiological roles are very similar to humans, and more than 80 percent of the genes humans have are identical in the zebrafish.

Therefore, zebrafish are an ideal model for studying complex diseases of humans in a very simplistic way. “We believe that understanding how zebrafish can cope with neurodegeneration would help us to design clinical therapy options for humans, such as for Alzheimer's disease. Within this study, we observed Alzheimer-like conditions in the fish brain. We found that zebrafish can impressively increase the neural stem cell proliferation and formation of new neurons even after Alzheimer's-like pathology. This is amazing because to treat Alzheimer's we need to generate more neurons. And this all starts with neural stem cell proliferation, which fails in our diseased brains”, Caghan Kizil explains.

This study has shown that Alzheimer's disease symptoms can be recapitulated in the zebrafish brain using a short section of human APP protein that is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (Amyloid-β42). This protein part causes the death of neurons, inflammation, loss of neuronal connections and deficits in memory formation in zebrafish. Caghan Kizil’s research group including the lead author involved in the study, Prabesh Bhattarai, found that the immune-related molecule Interleukin-4 (which is also present in the human brain) is produced by the immune cells and dying neurons in the fish brain.

This molecule alerts the neural stem cells that there is danger around. Stem cells then start to proliferatethrough a cell-intrinsic mechanism involving another protein of central function called STAT6. The importance of this study lies in the notion that the diseased brain and the inflammatory milieu there can be modulated to kick-start neural stem cell proliferation, and this is exactly what successfully regenerating vertebrates do.

The next steps towards an understanding of Alzheimer’s disease are clearly defined: “We will go on identifying more factors required for a successful ‘regeneration’ response in fish brain after an Alzheimer's disease-like situation. By doing so, we can get a more complete picture of the molecular programs beneficial for tackling this atrocious disease. Zebrafish will tell us the candidate genes we should focus on in our brains for possible regenerative therapies. I believe that we can come up with meaningful therapies only by combining an increase inthe proliferation of stem cells with the existing methods of prevention (existing drugs, rehabilitation approaches, preventive precautions etc.)”, Caghan Kizil says.

Since 2014, Caghan Kizil works as research group leader at the CRTD, where he also completed his Postdoc position from 2009-2014. Before completing his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology (Tübingen, Germany), Caghan Kizil gained his Master’s degree from Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Göttingen, Germany) and his Bachelor degree from Middle East Technical University (Ankara, Turkey). He is a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group Leader in German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE).

Publication

“IL4/STAT6 signaling activates neural stem cell proliferation and neurogenesis upon
Amyloid-β42 in adult zebrafish brain”
DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.09.075

Other publications

ORCID:
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8164-9762

RESEARCHERID: http://www.researcherid.com/ProfileView.action?SID=T2oXOV4KDMymd3MNr19&retur...
Kizil Lab Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/KizilLab/

Press Contact
Franziska Clauß, M.A.
Press Officer
Phone: +49 351 458 82065
E-Mail: franziska.clauss@crt-dresden.de

Founded in 2006, the DFG Research Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Cluster of Excellence at the TU Dresden has now passed the second phase of the Excellence Initiative which aims to promote top-level research and improve the quality of German universities and research institutions. The goal of the CRTD is to explore the human body's regenerative potential and to develop completely new, regenerative therapies for hitherto incurable diseases. The key areas of research include haematology and immunology, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, and bone regeneration. At present, eight professors and ten group leaders are working at the CRTD – integrated into an interdisciplinary network of 87 members at seven different institutions within Dresden. In addition, 21 partners from industry are supporting the network. The synergies in the network allow for a fast translation of results from basic research to clinical applications.

www.crt-dresden.de

Franziska Clauß | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally
21.02.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht First line of defence against influenza further decoded
21.02.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

'Icebreaker' protein opens genome for t cell development, Penn researchers find

21.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

MEMS chips get metatlenses

21.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>