In the brains of Alzheimer patients deposits of patholgical amyloid-beta protein, so-called amyloid plaques, are found. Since amyloid-beta protein plays a key role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, research on the formation and the clearance of amyloid-beta protein is crucial for a further understanding of the disease and therefore an important prerequisite for new approaches to the treatment of Morbus Alzheimer.
Microglia cells are phagocytes (scavenger cells) that exercise monitoring functions in the brain. It has been known for a long time that in Alzheimer brains an increased clustering of microglia cells are found in immediate vicinity to amyloid plaques. Thus, microglia cells were, until now, assumed to be involved in the clearance of amyloid deposits.
In collaboration with colleagues in Berlin the scientists from Tübingen managed to develop a transgenic mouse model in which microglia cells can, for the first time, be nearly completely removed (95%). This was done by introducing a so-called suicide gene into microglia cells and the administration of pharmaceutical agents which led to a systematic death of the cells.
Surprisingly and against all predictions, the ablation of microglia had, however, no effect on the amount of amyloid deposits. The fact whether the microglia cells were eliminated before or after the formation of amyloid-beta protein deposits made no difference. From cell culture experiments it is known that, in principle, microglia cells do have the ability to reduce amyloid plaques. The reason why this effect does not occur in the brains of the mouse models will now be addressed in future studies. The answer to this question could pave the way to a new therapeutic approach for Alzheimer's disease.Title of the original publication:
Stefan A Grathwohl, Roland E Kälin, Tristan Bolmont, Stefan Prokop, Georg Winkelmann, Stephan A Kaeser, Jörg Odenthal, Rebecca Radde, Therese Eldh, Sam Gandy, Adriano Aguzzi, Matthias Staufenbiel8, Paul M Mathews, Hartwig Wolburg, Frank L Heppner, Mathias Jucker
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17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
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17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
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