Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

High doses of lithium-like drugs may impair neuronal function

22.12.2006
New laboratory research suggests that lithium and other drugs that inhibit a particular enzyme, GSK-3 beta, should be used with caution in treating Alzheimer's disease because too high a dose can impair, rather than enhance, neuronal function.

Lithium is currently in clinical trials for treating Alzheimer's. Pharmaceutical companies are interested in producing other GSK-3 beta inhibitors for the disease because these drugs are relatively easy to make and lithium has been shown to be safe in low doses in treating people with manic-depressive illness, said Dr. William D. Snider, professor of neurology, cell and molecular physiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Medicine.

"People might think that if you make the inhibitor stronger and stronger, that would be better. Our in-vitro experiments show that you will have to be careful with how you use GSK-3 beta inhibitors, because if you use too much, it will interfere with and possibly kill neurons," said Snider, who also is director of UNC's Neuroscience Center

The results, published online Thursday (Dec. 21) in the journal Neuron, were surprising because GSK-3 beta inhibitors have been shown at some doses to improve neuronal function. "It's known that when GSK-3 beta is inactivated that tends to allow the processes inside the cell it regulates to function normally," Snider said.

... more about:
»GSK-3 »Inhibitor »Neuronal »Snider

But when the researchers strongly inhibited GSK-3 beta in mouse neurons in cell culture, the growth of axons, which carry messages between nerve cells, was markedly reduced.

The researchers inhibited GSK-3 beta using RNA silencing. "RNA silencing allows you to specifically knock down the level of a particular protein inside the cell," Snider said.

In a second set of experiments, the researchers treated mouse neurons with a low dose and a high dose of a GSK-3 beta inhibitor similar to lithium. The high dose impaired neuronal function, while the low dose improved it.

Snider's group plans to further investigate the effect of inhibiting GSK-3 beta in a whole-mouse model. "We will take a conditional mutagenesis approach in mice to knock out the GSK-3 beta in the nervous system," Snider said. "We'll be able to find out if we get the same effect in the whole animal that we got using RNA silencing in the culture dish."

The researchers will also work to understand how GSK-3 operates in relation to a protein called Tau, which is implicated in Alzheimer's.

Les Lang | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.med.unc.edu

Further reports about: GSK-3 Inhibitor Neuronal Snider

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New technology offers fast peptide synthesis
28.02.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

nachricht Biofuel produced by microalgae
28.02.2017 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New technology offers fast peptide synthesis

28.02.2017 | Life Sciences

WSU research advances energy savings for oil, gas industries

28.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Who can find the fish that makes the best sound?

28.02.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>