Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gladstone scientists identify strategies to protect new brain cells against Alzheimer's disease

04.12.2009
Reversing abnormal brain activity in Alzheimer models improves development of new nerve cells born in adult brains

Stimulating the growth of new neurons to replace those lost in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an intriguing therapeutic possibility. But will the factors that cause AD allow the new neurons to thrive and function normally? Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease (GIND) have discovered that two main causes of AD amyloid-beta (Aâ) peptides and apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) impair the growth of new neurons born in adult brains.

What is more, they have identified drug treatments that can normalize the development of these cells even in the presence of Aâ or apoE4. The findings are described in two separate papers published in the current issue of Cell Stem Cell.

Although it had long been assumed that neurons cannot be renewed, it is now well established that new neurons are generated throughout the lives of mammals. One brain region in which new neurons are born in adults, the hippocampus, is involved in learning and memory and affected severely by Alzheimer's disease.

GIND investigator Li Gan, PhD, and her collaborators studied the development of neurons born in the hippocampus of adult mice genetically engineered to produce high levels of human Aâ in the brain. Surprisingly, Aâ initially accelerated the development of newborn neurons but then profoundly impaired their maturation at later stages of development.

"Interestingly," Dr. Gan said, "we were able to protect the newborn neurons and ensure their normal development with drugs that counteract Aâ-induced abnormalities in neural network activity. It is possible that these drugs could support the development of neurons from stem cells even in the hostile environment of the AD brain."

In a complementary study, GIND investigator Yadong Huang, MD, PhD and his team focused on apoE4, the major genetic risk factor for AD. The team used genetically engineered mice to study the effects of different human apoE variants on the maturation of neural stem cells or progenitor cells, from which new neurons develop in the adult brain. They found that apoE4 also impairs the development of new neurons in the hippocampus and identified drug treatments that could block these detrimental effects.

"Our findings suggest that apoE4 inhibits the development of newborn neurons by impairing specific signaling pathways and that boosting these pathways with drugs may be of therapeutic benefit," said Dr. Huang. "It might allow us to encourage the development of new neurons from stem cells to replace those lost in apoE4 carriers with AD."

"Although stem cell therapy for AD is still a long ways off, these studies have identified strategies to overcome major obstacles in the path towards this goal," said GIND Director Lennart Mucke, MD, who coauthored one of the studies. "They clearly demonstrate that drugs can be used to improve the development of newborn neurons in memory centers of the adult brain, even in the presence of toxic factors widely presumed to cause AD."

Dr. Gan's research was supported by the J. David Gladstone Institutes and the L.K.Whittier Foundation. Binggui Sun, Brian Halabisky, Yungui Zhou, Jorge Palop, Guiqiu Yu, and Lennart Mucke also contributed to this research. Dr. Huang's research was supported by the J. David Gladstone Institutes, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the National Institutes of Health. Gang Li, Nga Bien-Ly, Yaisa Andrews-Zwilling, Aubrey Bernardo, Karen Ring, Brian Halabisky, Changhui Deng, and Robert W. Mahley also contributed to this research.

Dr. Gan's and Dr. Huang's primary affiliations are with the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease where their laboratories are located and all of their research is conducted. Dr. Gan is also Assistant Professor of Neurology and Dr. Huang is Associate Professor of Pathology and Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco.

In addition to his primary affiliation as Director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, Dr. Mucke is the Joseph B. Martin Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco.

About the Gladstone Institutes

The Gladstone Institutes is a nonprofit, independent research and educational institution, consisting of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology and the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease. Independent in its governance, finances and research programs, Gladstone shares a close affiliation with UCSF through its faculty, who hold joint UCSF appointments.

Valerie Tucker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.gladstone.ucsf.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease
22.06.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Exposure to fracking chemicals and wastewater spurs fat cell development
22.06.2018 | Duke University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Towards universal influenza vaccines – is Neuraminidase underrated?

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

Thermal Radiation from Tiny Particles

22.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Polar ice may be softer than we thought

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>