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New Target For Alzheimer's Disease Therapy

Date:
March 30, 2009
Source:
American Journal of Pathology
Summary:
Researchers have discovered that the unfolded protein response contributes to nerve cell death in Alzheimer's Disease.
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Researchers at the VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands discovered that the unfolded protein response contributes to nerve cell death in Alzheimer's Disease.

This report can be found in the April 2009 issue of The American Journal of Pathology.

Alzheimer's disease is an incurable, degenerative, terminal form of dementia, thought to be caused in part by the presence of "tangles" of misfolded proteins. The unfolded protein response protects cells from the toxic effects of accumulated misfolded proteins; however, prolonged activation of the unfolded protein response, such as in Alzheimer's disease, may lead to cell death.

Hoozemans et al hypothesized that the unfolded protein response contributed to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease partially though its effects on the accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau, a major component of tangles in Alzheimer's disease patients. They found that markers of the unfolded protein response were expressed in areas of tau accumulation in patients with Alzheimer's disease. These unfolded protein response-related proteins were expressed early, in pre-tangle neurons, but were absent in tangle neurons.

This report suggests that "unfolded protein response activation occurs at an early stage of neurofibrillary degeneration and … that the prolonged activation of the [unfolded protein response] is involved in both tau phosphorylation and neurodegeration in [Alzheimer's Disease] pathogenesis. … Future studies will address the therapeutic opportunities of this pathway for the treatment of [Alzheimer's Disease] and other tauopathies."


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by American Journal of Pathology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hoozemans JJM, van Haastert ES, Nijholt DAT, Rozemuller AJM, Eikelenboom P, Scheper W. The Unfolded Protein Response Is Activated in Pretangle Neurons in Alzheimer's Disease Hippocampus. American Journal Of Pathology, 2009; DOI: 10.2353/ajpath.2009.080814

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American Journal of Pathology. "New Target For Alzheimer's Disease Therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090325114529.htm>.
American Journal of Pathology. (2009, March 30). New Target For Alzheimer's Disease Therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090325114529.htm
American Journal of Pathology. "New Target For Alzheimer's Disease Therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090325114529.htm (accessed July 3, 2015).

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