Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential Alzheimer's treatment? Newly discovered role for enzyme in neurodegenerative diseases

Date:
March 11, 2011
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are partly attributable to brain inflammation. Researchers now demonstrate that a well-known family of enzymes can prevent the inflammation and thus constitute a potential target for drugs.

Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are partly attributable to brain inflammation. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet now demonstrate in a paper published in Nature that a well-known family of enzymes can prevent the inflammation and thus constitute a potential target for drugs.

Research suggests that microglial cells -- the nerve system's primary immune cells -- play a critical part in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The over-activation of these cells in the brain can cause inflammation, resulting in neuronal death.

Scientists at Karolinska Institutet and Seville University, working in collaboration with colleagues at Lund University, have now found a way to prevent the activation of the microglia and consequently the inflammation they cause. The key is the blocking of enzymes called caspases, which the team has shown control microglial activation.

"The caspases are a group of enzymes known for causing cell death," says Associate Professor Bertrand Joseph, who headed the study. "That they also serve as signal molecules that govern that activity of other cells was an unexpected discovery that gives them an entirely new physiological role."

By studying cell cultures and mice, the researchers show that certain caspases (3, 7 and 8) activate rather than kill microglial cells, which triggers an inflammatory reaction. Mice given caspase inhibitors displayed fewer activated microglia and less inflammation and cell death in the surrounding neurons.

They also examined samples from deceased Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients and discovered a higher incidence of activated caspases in their microglial cells.

"We'll now be examining whether the substances that inhibit the caspases can be candidates for useful drugs in the treatment of certain neurological diseases," says Dr Joseph.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Miguel A. Burguillos, Tomas Deierborg, Edel Kavanagh, Annette Persson, Nabil Hajji, Albert Garcia-Quintanilla, Josefina Cano, Patrik Brundin, Elisabet Englund, Jose L. Venero, Bertrand Joseph. Caspase signalling controls microglia activation and neurotoxicity. Nature, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/nature09788

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Potential Alzheimer's treatment? Newly discovered role for enzyme in neurodegenerative diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110310070449.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2011, March 11). Potential Alzheimer's treatment? Newly discovered role for enzyme in neurodegenerative diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110310070449.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Potential Alzheimer's treatment? Newly discovered role for enzyme in neurodegenerative diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110310070449.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Might Not Be Out Of Control In U.S., But Coverage Is

Ebola Might Not Be Out Of Control In U.S., But Coverage Is

Newsy (Oct. 2, 2014) Coverage of the lone Ebola patient discovered in Texas has U.S. media in a frenzy — but does the coverage match the reality? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Hunts Contacts of Ebola Patient, Including Children

US Hunts Contacts of Ebola Patient, Including Children

AFP (Oct. 2, 2014) Health officials in Texas on Wednesday scoured the Dallas area for people, including schoolchildren, who came in contact with a Liberian man who was diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Losing Sense Of Smell Can Indicate Death

Study Says Losing Sense Of Smell Can Indicate Death

Newsy (Oct. 2, 2014) Researchers found elderly adults with a poor sense of smell are more likely to die within five years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. 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


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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