Now, a new study from the laboratory of Dr. Roberta Brinton, University of Southern California, demonstrates that estrogen reduces this oxidative stress caused by the mitochondria while increasing the ability of the mitochondria to generate energy – important since there is usually an energy deficit in the Alzheimer brain.
The study was presented April 5 at Experimental Biology 2008 in San Diego by Jia Yao, a graduate student in Dr. Brinton’s laboratory. The presentation is part of the scientific program of the American Association of Anatomists (AAA), and Mr. Yao’s presentation is a finalist for the AAA Langman Graduate Studet Platform Presentation Award. He also received an AAA travel award.
Mitochondria, small organelles within the cells, use a process called Oxidative Phosphorylation to generate the vast majority of the adenosine triposphate (ATP) molecules that cells utilize to function properly. If the mitochondria become less efficient with age or disease, they use less up oxygen during this process. This inefficiency produces a double hit against the brain: fewer energy molecules being produced and more free radicals being released, leading to damaging oxidative stress.
Using a combination of biochemical and proteomic (protein) approaches, Dr. Brinton’s research team demonstrated how estrogen acts to regulate mitochondrial function in ways pivotal for protection against Alzheimer’s disease. These include:
an increase of mitochondrial efficiency, enhancing the organelles’ ability to generate energy-laden ATP molecules needed by the brain;
increased expression of key proteins required for ATP generation;
reduction of oxidative stress, protecting neurons from oxidative damage;
prevention of excess apoptosis, or programmed cell death, of neurons of the brain;
and protection of neurons from mitochondrial toxins, which can induce further mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death.
Dr. Brinton and her research team currently are validating the energy-production levels of mitochondria as a biomarker that could detect the presence of Alzheimer’s in the earliest stages, when the neurodegenerative process might be stopped or slowed or therapeutics be more effective. They believe this new information on how estrogen regulates mitochondrial function also sheds light on how to develop a new generation of effective Alzheimer therapeutics. Dr. Brinton currently is developing new, brain specific molecules that promote neurological defense against Alzheimer’s, using similar mechanisms as estrogen, but without estrogen’s negative side effects.
Sylvia Wrobel | EurekAlert!
20.11.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis
Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity
20.11.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
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.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
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...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
20.11.2017 | Life Sciences
20.11.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.11.2017 | Life Sciences