Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Molecular knock-out alleviates Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice

30.11.2012
Joint Press Release from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and the University Medical Center Göttingen

Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) have identified an enzyme as a possible target for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The protein known as HDAC6 impairs transport processes within the nerve cells. The scientists observed only mild symptoms of the disease in mice if the enzyme was not produced. They propose to block its activity in a targeted fashion to treat the disease.


The HDAC6 protein (green) regulates the transportation of mitochondria – the cell’s power plants – along ‘microtubule highways’ (red) inside nerve cells (nucleus shown in blue). This process is inhibited in Alzheimer’s nerve cells and can be returned to normal by switching off HDAC6.
Source: André Fischer

Scientists from the DZNE sites in Göttingen and Bonn, the UMG as well as from the US participated in this basic research project on Alzheimer’s disease. The study is published in "EMBO Molecular Medicine".

The researchers led by Prof. André Fischer, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University Medical Center Gottingen and Site Speaker of the DZNE in Göttingen, investigated mice with a modified genetic background. The animals showed behavioural disorders and brain deposits that are typically associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers went a step further with a group of other animals by removing the genes responsible for the production of the HDAC6 enzyme (histone deacetylase 6). This intervention proved to be effective: while these mice also exhibited the pathological features of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain, their behaviour was significantly ameliorated. "The animals’ ability to learn and to find their spatial bearings was relatively normal", says Prof. Fischer. "Their cognitive abilities were fully comparable to those of healthy mice."

Improved cellular traffic

In the researchers’ view, this effect is at least partly attributable to the fact that important transport processes within the nerve cells are facilitated when the HDAC6 enzyme is not around. This meant in particular that the cells’ power plants, also known as "mitochondria", can travel to their final destinations. "It is known that in various neurodegenerative diseases cellular transport is no longer functional. The substances that are to be transported along axons are left behind", Fischer says. "Measures which improve trafficking seem to have a positive effect."

Possible target for therapy?

The researchers’ findings suggest that the HDAC6 enzyme could be a possible target for therapies against Alzheimer’s disease. However, treatments would require an active substance that can disable the enzyme in a targeted fashion. Unfortunately, the active substances known to date are too unspecific. Prof. Fischer explains that their application resembles a broad-spectrum treatment: "We don’t know precisely what is the therapeutic effect of the inhibitors, since they simultaneously block several enzymes from the histone deacetylase family", he says. "And we still don’t know enough about how the individual enzymes function".

Improving the accuracy of the inhibitors is therefore the aim of further research. "We will continue to work toward this goal. On one hand, we want to improve our understanding of how the various histone deacetylases function. On the other hand, we want to test inhibitors that operate in a more targeted manner", says Prof. André Fischer.

Original publication:
"Reducing HDAC6 ameliorates cognitive deficits in a mouse model for Alzheimer’s disease", Nambirajan Govindarajan, Pooja Rao, Susanne Burkhardt, Farahnaz Sananbenesi, Oliver M. Schlüter, Frank Bradke, Jianrong Lu, André Fischer, EMBO Molecular Medicine, online at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/emmm.201201923/abstract

The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) investigates the causes of diseases of the nervous system and develops strategies for prevention, treatment and care. It is an institution of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres with sites in Berlin, Bonn, Dresden, Göttingen, Magdeburg, Munich, Rostock/Greifswald, Tübingen and Witten. The DZNE cooperates closely with universities, their clinics and other research facilities. Its cooperation partners in Göttingen are the Georg-August-University and the University Medical Center Göttingen. Website: http://www.dzne.de/en

Dr. Marcus Neitzert | idw
Further information:
http://www.dzne.de/en

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona

nachricht Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>