Astrocytes as a novel target in Alzheimer’s disease
The research teams of Prof. Jin-Moo Lee at Washington University in Saint Louis, USA, and Prof. Milos Pekny at Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden, have identified astrocytes as a novel target for the development of future treatment strategies. The results have just been published in the FASEB Journal.
Astrocytes are known as cells that control many functions of the healthy as well as diseased brain, including the control of regenerative responses.
In patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, astrocytes in the vicinity of amyloid plaques and degenerating neurons become hyperactive.
Until now, many researchers considered this astrocyte hyperactivity in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients as negative and contributing to the progression of this devastating disease.
The current study generated groundbreaking data with important implications. The US and Swedish research teams used a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease in which they genetically reduced astrocyte hyperactivity. They found that such mice developed more amyloid deposits and showed more pronounced signs of neurodegeneration than mice with normal response of astrocytes.
This suggests that astrocyte response to the disease process slows down the disease progression.
– We are truly exited about these findings. Now we need to understand the mechanism underlying the beneficial role of hyperactive astrocytes in Alzheimer’s disease progression. Understanding this process on a molecular level should help us to design strategies for optimization of the astrocyte response, says Prof. Milos Pekny.
– We see that astrocyte hyperactivity in Alzheimer’s disease brains is tightly connected to activation of microglia, the brain’s own immune cells. This implies that the two cell types communicate to mediate a coordinated response to disease states, says Prof. Jin-Moo Lee.
This international collaborative team of neuroscientists is pursuing further studies to understand molecular mechanisms by which astrocytes prevent the deposition of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease.
For more information please contact:
Prof. Milos Pekny, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Life Sciences
Articles and reports from the Life Sciences area deal with applied and basic research into modern biology, chemistry and human medicine.
Valuable information can be found on a range of life sciences fields including bacteriology, biochemistry, bionics, bioinformatics, biophysics, biotechnology, genetics, geobotany, human biology, marine biology, microbiology, molecular biology, cellular biology, zoology, bioinorganic chemistry, microchemistry and environmental chemistry.
2020 Arctic sea ice minimum at second lowest on record
NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder shows that the 2020 minimum extent, which was likely reached on Sept. 15, measured…
Dresden physicists develop printable organic transistors
Scientists at the Institute of Applied Physics at TU Dresden have come a step closer to the vision of a broad application of flexible, printable electronics. The team around Dr…
Researchers discover a mechanism that causes cell nuclei to grow
By far the most important process in cell development is how cells divide and then enlarge in order to multiply. A research team headed by Freiburg medical scientist Prof. Dr….