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
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy