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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Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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