Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene targeting prevents memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease model

08.01.2004


Northwestern University researchers have prevented learning and memory deficits in a model of Alzheimer’s disease using a gene-targeting approach to block production of beta-amyloid, or "senile," plaques, one of the hallmarks of the disease.



Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition affecting over 15 million people worldwide that causes memory loss and, ultimately, dementia. Some research suggests that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by an increased amyloid burden in the brain -- the so-called amyloid cascade hypothesis.

Results of the Northwestern study, published in the January issue of the journal Neuron, provide compelling evidence for the therapeutic potential of inhibiting an enzyme, beta-secretase (BACE1), required for the production of beta-amyloid, to treat memory impairment in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.


The study also presents new evidence that beta-amyloid is directly responsible for causing the memory-robbing effects of Alzheimer’s disease, said Masuo Ohno, research assistant professor of physiology, Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. Ohno’s co-researchers on the project were John F. Disterhoft, professor of physiology, and Robert Vassar, associate professor of cell and molecular biology at the Feinberg School.

Ohno and colleagues used behavioral, biochemical and electrophysiologic methods to analyze BACE1 in mice bred to lack the enzyme but to also overproduce amyloid precursor protein, which BACE1 "clips" into fragments of beta-amyloid that eventually form the notorious plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The mice were healthy and had no serious neurological abnormalities, suggesting that BACE1 inhibition is a rational strategy for treating Alzheimer’s disease, Ohno said.

Importantly, the beneficial effects of BACE1 inhibition in the mice were seen well before beta-amyloid plaques formed, indicating that the soluble forms of the protein can disrupt learning and memory in early stages of the disease process.

"Potential compounds that block BACE1 should be useful in counteracting the Alzheimer’s disease process. We clearly show for the first time that genetic reduction of brain beta-amyloid levels prevents memory deficits and brain cell functional abnormalities in a laboratory model of Alzheimer’s disease," Ohno said.

"This well-executed study in mice is another step forward toward demonstrating the validity of anti-amyloid interventions in Alzheimer’s disease. The next step is to see if this works in more sophisticated models of the disease, and eventually in humans. " said William Thies, vice president of medical and scientific affairs for the Alzheimer’s Association, which funded part of the study. The National Institutes of Health also funded the study.

Elizabeth Crown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nwu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht World’s Largest Study on Allergic Rhinitis Reveals new Risk Genes
17.07.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Plant mothers talk to their embryos via the hormone auxin
17.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>