Researchers at the Hebrew university of Jerusalem have created a molecule that could potentially lower diabetic patients’ higher risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Recent studies indicate that high levels of sugar in the blood in diabetics and non-diabetics are a risk factor for the development of dementia, impaired cognition, and a decline of brain function. Diabetics have also been found to have twice the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared to non-diabetics.Now, researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have found a potential neuro-inflammatory pathway that could be responsible for the increases of diabetics’ risk of Alzheimer's and dementia. They also reveal a potential treatment to reverse this process.
The study shows that the diabetic rats given a daily injection of the sugar-lowering drug rosiglitazone for a month enjoyed a significant decrease in MAPK enzyme activity accompanied by a decrease in the inflammatory processes in the brain. According to the authors, this finding represents the first unequivocal evidence of a functional link between high blood sugar and the activation of this specific inflammatory pathway in the brain.
Using the diabetic rat model, they explored a novel approach that would lower the activation of these enzymes in the brain, and decrease neuronal cell death. In the last few years, Prof. Atlas developed a series of molecules that mimic the action of thioredoxin called thioredoxin-mimetic peptides (TXM), whose role is to protect the cells from early death through activating inflammatory pathways. The TXM peptides were effective in different animal models and were able to prevent the activation of the damaging MAPK kinases. Applied to the diabetic Zucker rats, one of the molecules, TXM-CB3, significantly reduced the activity of these enzymes, and lowered the accelerated brain cell death. These results indicate that the molecule managed to cross the blood-brain barrier and improve the condition of the brain cells, through lowering the inflammatory processes in the rats’ brains, despite the high glucose levels afflicting the rats.
The Hebrew University’s Prof. Atlas said: "This study paves the way for preventive treatment of damages caused by high sugar levels, and for reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease in diabetics or people with elevated blood sugar levels. Following the successful animal testing of the molecule we developed, we hope to explore its potential benefit for treating cognitive and memory impairments caused by diabetes on humans.”
The molecule is protected by a patent registered by Yissum Research Development Company, the technology transfer arm of the Hebrew University.
The study, “Thioredoxin-Mimetic peptide CB3 Lowers MAPKinsase activity in the Zucker Rat Brain,” appeared in the journal Redox Biology, an official Journal of the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine and the Society for Free Radical Research-Europe.
The research was funded in part by funded by the H.L. Lauterbach Fund, the Haya and Shlomo Margalit Fund, and a NOFAR program (issued by MAGNET directorate in the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade & Labor). Researchers included Dr. Michael Trus; PhD student Moshe Cohen-Kutner; MSc student Lena Khomsky; and Hila Ben-Yehuda.
For information:Dov Smith
Dov Smith | Hebrew University
Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance
25.09.2017 | Institut Pasteur
MRI contrast agent locates and distinguishes aggressive from slow-growing breast cancer
25.09.2017 | Case Western Reserve University
Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
Graphene is up to the job
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
26.09.2017 | Life Sciences
26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.09.2017 | Information Technology