Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Salk Study Finds Diabetes Raises Levels of Proteins Linked to Alzheimer's Features

Growing evidence suggests that there may be a link between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, but the physiological mechanisms by which diabetes impacts brain function and cognition are not fully understood.
In a new study published in Aging Cell, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies show, for the first time, that diabetes enhances the development of aging features that may underlie early pathological events in Alzheimer's.

Specifically, the Salk team found increases in two hallmarks of Alzheimer's-accumulations of amyloid beta (Abeta) and tau protein-in the brains of diabetic mice, especially in cells surrounding blood vessels. Abeta, the misfolded peptide that is thought in part to cause Alzheimer's disease, aggregated inside astrocytes, star-shaped brain cells that, upon interaction with Abeta, release inflammatory molecules that can destroy neurons. Previously, this had not been shown in mouse models of type 1 diabetes (T1D).

"Our study supports and extends the links between diabetes, aging and Alzheimer's," says senior author Pamela Maher, a senior staff scientist in Salk's Laboratory of Cellular Neurobiology. "We show that type 1 diabetes increases vascular-associated amyloid beta buildup in the brain and causes accelerated brain aging."

The findings suggest that the neurovascular system may be a good candidate for new therapeutic targets to treat Alzheimer's in the early stages of the disease.

Alzheimer's and diabetes are two diseases that are increasing at an alarming rate within the U.S. population. Alzheimer's affects one in 10 Americans over 65 years of age and nearly 50 percent of those over 85. Similarly, more than 8 percent of Americans (approximately 26 million people) have diabetes, with the vast majority of those individuals being over 60.

Maher says her team is uncertain of the precise mechanism behind the increase in Abeta and tau in the mouse brain, but their data suggest that changes in astrocytes, as well as other pro-inflammatory processes and the bonding of proteins with sugar molecules (called non-enzymatic glycation), may contribute.

"Astrocytes play a key role in maintaining nerve cells in the brain," says lead study author Antonio Currais, a postdoctoral researcher at Salk. "Both chronic peripheral inflammation and increased non-enzymatic glycation are associated with diabetes, and these changes may act on the brain to alter astrocyte function, which eventually leads to Alzheimer's-like changes."

All nerve cells are closely connected to blood vessels, as they need nutrients---- especially glucose (sugar) and oxygen---- provided by the blood in order to function. Astrocytes facilitate the transfer of nutrients between blood vessels and cells. The buildup of Abeta at sites where astrocytes interact with blood vessels suggest that this could impair the transfer of nutrients. The type of Abeta localization seen in Maher's mouse models is also found in human Alzheimer's patients

To examine the contributions of diabetes to Alzheimer's-related pathology in the aged brain, the Salk researchers induced T1D in two sets of mouse models. One set, known as SAMP8 mice, undergo accelerated aging and develop early deterioration in learning and memory, as well as a number of brain alterations similar to those found in Alzheimer's. The other set, SAMR1 mice, which in this study came from the same gene pool as the SAMP8 mice, age normally.

Using these mice, Maher and her colleagues addressed how T1D interacts with age to contribute to Alzheimer's-related pathology. They showed that T1D elicits a wide range of pathological changes in the brains of both strains of mice, which are exacerbated by premature aging.

The Salk study is the first to show that these modifications are similar to those seen in old nondiabetic SAMP8 mice and to identify unique pathological changes, such as increases in markers for inflammation, in aged, T1D SAMP8 mice.
Unlike most mouse studies of Alzheimer's, Maher's mice were not engineered to produce high levels of human Abeta or tau,so all of their observations came from naturally occurringAbeta and tau.

Other researchers on the study were Marguerite Prior and Professor David Schubert, from Salk's Laboratory for Cellular Neurobiology; David Lo, from Salk's Laboratory of Neuronal Structure and Function; and Corinne Jolivalt of the University of California, San Diego.

The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Fritz B. Burns Foundation, the Bundy Foundation, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia and the Alzheimer's Association.
Andy Hoang
Kat Kearney

Andy Hoang | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>