Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bacterial product isolated in soil from Easter Island rescues learning, memory in Alzheimer's mouse model

Date:
March 8, 2010
Source:
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Summary:
A new study offers the first evidence that the drug rapamycin -- a bacterial product first isolated in soil from Easter Island -- is able to reverse Alzheimer's disease-like deficits in an animal model.

This Easter Island monolith has endured for centuries. New research from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio shows that rapamycin, a compound discovered in the island's soil, rescued learning and memory in mice with Alzheimer's disease-like deficits.
Credit: iStockphoto/King Ho Yim

Rapamycin, a drug that keeps the immune system from attacking transplanted organs, may have another exciting use: fighting Alzheimer's disease. The drug -- a bacterial product first isolated in soil from Easter Island -- rescued learning and memory deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's, a team from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio reported on Feb. 23.

Related Articles


The study, in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, offers the first evidence that the drug is able to reverse Alzheimer's-like deficits in an animal model, said the senior author, Salvatore Oddo, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Physiology of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

Tissue evidence

Rapamycin also reduced lesions in the brains of the mice, the team found. The lesions are similar to those seen in the brains of people who died with Alzheimer's.

"Our findings may have a profound clinical implication," said Dr. Oddo, who is a member of the university's Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies. "Because rapamycin is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug, a clinical trial using it as an anti-Alzheimer's disease therapy could be started fairly quickly."

Last year three institutions, including the Barshop Institute, announced that rapamycin extended the life span of aged research mice at each of the sites. It was the first pharmacologic intervention shown to extend life in an animal model of aging.

Study method

For 10 weeks the mice that model Alzheimer's disease were fed chow containing rapamycin. At the start of treatment the mice were 6 months old, roughly the age of young adults, but already exhibited indications of learning and memory deficits and brain lesions.

At the end of the 10 weeks, the mice were tested in a contraption called the Morris water maze, sort of a miniature swimming pool used to assess learning and memory in rodents. At the end of the behavioral tests, the brains of the mice were analyzed to determine the effects of rapamycin on the lesions that indicate Alzheimer's.

Promise remains to be determined

Rapamycin, a bacterial product first isolated in soil from the island Rapa Nui in the South Pacific, also is being tested in cancer research studies. Rapa Nui is commonly known as Easter Island and is distinguished by ancient monoliths with faces.

"While it remains to be determined whether our results obtained in mice could be translated in people, we are very excited as these findings may lead to a new therapeutic intervention to treat Alzheimer's," Dr. Oddo said.

Co-authors, all from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, are Antonella Caccamo, M.S.; Smita Majumder, M.S.; Arlan Richardson, Ph.D.; and Randy Strong, Ph.D. Dr. Richardson, professor of cellular and structural biology, is director of the Barshop Institute. Dr. Strong, professor of pharmacology, and Dr. Richardson are senior research career scientists with the South Texas Veterans Health Care System.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Antonella Caccamo, Smita Majumder, Arlan Richardson, Randy Strong, Salvatore Oddo. Molecular interplay between mTOR, Aβ and tau: Effects on cognitive impairments. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2010; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.100420

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Bacterial product isolated in soil from Easter Island rescues learning, memory in Alzheimer's mouse model." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100224165259.htm>.
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. (2010, March 8). Bacterial product isolated in soil from Easter Island rescues learning, memory in Alzheimer's mouse model. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100224165259.htm
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Bacterial product isolated in soil from Easter Island rescues learning, memory in Alzheimer's mouse model." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100224165259.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins