Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cholesterol increases risk of Alzheimer's and heart disease

16.04.2013
Researchers at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome and the University of Colorado School of Medicine have found that a single mechanism may underlie the damaging effect of cholesterol on the brain and on blood vessels.
High levels of blood cholesterol increase the risk of both Alzheimer's disease and heart disease, but it has been unclear exactly how cholesterol damages the brain to promote Alzheimer's disease and blood vessels to promote atherosclerosis.

Using insights gained from studying two much rarer disorders, Down Syndrome and Niemann Pick-C disease, researchers at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome and the Department of Neurology of the University of Colorado School of Medicine found that cholesterol wreaks havoc on the orderly process of cell division, leading to defective daughter cells throughout the body.

In the new study published this week in the on-line journal PLOS ONE, Antoneta Granic, PhD, and Huntington Potter, PhD, show that cholesterol, particularly in the LDL form, called 'bad cholesterol', causes cells in both humans and mice to divide incorrectly and distribute their already-duplicated chromosomes unequally to the next generation. The result is an accumulation of defective daughter cells with the wrong number of chromosomes and therefore the wrong number of genes. Instead of the correct two copies of each chromosome, and thus two copies of each gene, some cells acquired three copies and some only one.

Granic and Potter's study of the effects of cholesterol on cell division included a prominent finding of cells carrying three copies of the chromosome (#21 in humans and #16 in mice) that encodes the amyloid peptide that is the key component of the neurotoxic amyloid filaments that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer patients.

Human trisomy 21 cells are significant because people with Down syndrome have trisomy 21 in all of their cells from the moment of conception, and they all develop the brain pathology and many develop the dementia of Alzheimer's disease by age 50. Earlier studies by Granic, Potter and others have shown that as many as 10% of cells in an Alzheimer patient, including neurons in the brain, have three copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual two. Thus, Alzheimer's disease is, in some ways, a form of acquired Down syndrome. Furthermore, mutant genes that cause inherited Alzheimer's disease cause the same defect in chromosome segregation as does cholesterol, thus indicating the presence of a common cell division problem in both familial and 'sporadic' (non-familial) Alzheimer's disease.

The new research also found trisomy 21 neurons in the brains of children with what, until now, was thought to be an unrelated neurodegenerative disease (Niemann Pick type C), caused by a mutation affecting cholesterol physiology. This result suggests that neurodegeneration itself might be linked to chromosome missegregation.

Such a model is supported by the finding of Thomas Arendt, MD, and colleagues at the University of Leipzig that 90% of the neuronal cell death observed at autopsy in Alzheimer patients is due to the creation and selective loss of neurons with the wrong number of chromosomes.

Identifying the specific problem caused by cholesterol will lead to completely new approaches to therapy for many human diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis and possibly cancer, all of which show signs of defective cell division. Granic and Potter already have found a potentially simple approach to preventing cholesterol from causing cells to distribute their chromosomes unequally into their new daughter cells. Specifically, when cells in culture were first treated with ethanol, the subsequent exposure to bad cholesterol was without effect on cell division: Each daughter cell received the correct number of chromosomes.

Faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Hospital, Children's Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The school is located on the Anschutz Medical Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system. To learn more about the medical school's care, education, research and community engagement, please visit its web site. For additional news and information, please visit the University of Colorado Denver newsroom.

The Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome was founded in 2008. It is the first global institute to encompass basic research, clinical research and clinical care specifically for people with Down syndrome. The mission of the institute is to eradicate the medical and cognitive ill effects associated with Down syndrome. Significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome is a major focus. The institute partners are the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the University of Colorado Boulder and Children's Hospital Colorado.

Mark Couch | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucdenver.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

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

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>