Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute (BSI) and their collaborators have shed light on the function of a little-studied amyloid peptide in promoting Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Their surprising findings reveal that the peptide is more abundant, more neurotoxic, and exhibits a higher propensity to aggregate than amyloidogenic agents studied in earlier research, suggesting a potential role in new approaches for preventing AD-causing amyloidosis.
An irreversible, progressive brain disease affecting millions worldwide, Alzheimer's disease is devastating for its victims, robbing them of their memory and cognitive skills and ultimately of their lives. Even after decades of research, however, the causes of AD remain elusive. Two features in the brain, abnormal clumps (senile plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (neurofibrillary tangles), are known to characterize AD, but there is little consensus on the link between these features and the underlying roots of the disease.
One hypothesis that has attracted widespread support proposes that AD is caused by the buildup of the senile plaques, and in particular of their main constituent, amyloid-â peptides (Aâ). Two major forms of Aâ, Aâ40 and Aâ42, have been associated with genetic mutations causing early-onset AD, and have thus received considerable research attention. The role of longer Aâ species, in contrast, which also exist in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, has not yet been fully investigated.
In their current work, the researchers focused on Aâ43, an amyloid-â peptide found just as often in patient brains as Aâ42, but about which relatively little is known. To study the peptide's role in AD, they generated mice with a mutation causing overproduction of Aâ43, and used a highly sensitive system to distinguish between concentrations of Aâ40, Aâ42 and Aâ43.
Their surprising results reveal that Aâ43 is even more abundant in the brains of AD patients than Aâ40, and more neurotoxic than Aâ42. Aâ43 also exhibits the highest propensity to aggregate and considerably accelerates amyloid pathology. Moreover, unlike the other two Aâ species, which exist in human and mouse brains at birth, Aâ43 levels appear to increase with age, consistent with the pattern of AD onset.
Published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the findings thus reveal the possible value of Aâ43 as a biomarker for diagnosis of AD and suggest a potential role in new approaches for preventing AD-causing amyloidosis, promising hope to AD sufferers around the world.
Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences