Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Precise measurements of cholesterol transport rates give new hope for Alzheimer’s treatment

Date:
July 19, 2011
Source:
Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL)
Summary:
Neutron scattering has shown the movement of cholesterol between and within cells takes far longer than previously thought. The findings could impact the treatment of a range of diseases linked to abnormal rates of cholesterol transfer.

Neutron scattering has shown the movement of cholesterol between and within cells takes far longer than previously thought. The findings could impact the treatment of a range of diseases linked to abnormal rates of cholesterol transfer.

Scientists using neutron scattering at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) and at the NIST Center for Neutron Research have discovered that cholesterol moves far slower within and between cells than previously thought. Their findings reveal how different concentrations of cholesterol within cells are maintained and shed light on severe disorders linked to cholesterol transport abnormalities, including Alzheimer's, which may help in their treatment.

Cholesterol forms part of the outer membrane that surrounds every cell. It plays a vital role, carrying chemical and nerve signals around the body by insulating nerve fibres, and aids the production of important hormones. Maintaining the correct levels of cholesterol through redistribution between and within the cells is therefore vitally important. As well as Alzheimer's, abnormalities in cholesterol transport can lead to several other fatal diseases, such as atherosclerosis and various cardiovascular disorders.

The precise rate of cholesterol transport, measured by the time it takes for cholesterol to evenly distribute in a system, could be used for developing new, improved treatments for these disorders. However, progress in this area had until now been hampered by the wide variation in the values obtained from previous studies, which cover five to six orders of magnitude and range from several hours to a few milliseconds.

However, using neutrons scattering, scientists from ILL, NIST, Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Chicago have shown that these values are in the order of several hours, far slower than generally thought. In their experiments, the team added cholesterol-enriched donor vesicles to cholesterol-free acceptor vesicles and tracked the cholesterol as it redistributed between them using neutrons, which, like x-rays, can probe systems at the molecular scale.

The team was even able to account for the errors in previous results. For example, they showed that cyclodextrin, a ring-shaped glucose molecule used in many earlier experiments and thought not to interfere in the intra-membrane transport process, actually speeds up this rate by an order of magnitude.

Dr Lionel Porcar, scientist at ILL explains: "Inaccurate cholesterol transport rates from previous studies have hampered our understanding of how healthy concentrations of cholesterol within cells are maintained. However, with the non-invasive, in situ techniques offered by neutrons, we can remove the need for tagging substances, and are able to reveal the true rate of transport. This can shed critical light on intracellular transport disorders."

One such disorder is Alzheimer's, where problems in cholesterol production and transport in the brain can lead to build-ups of the peptide amyloid b (Ab), which causes Alzheimer's disease. In addition, irregular cholesterol transport changes the neurochemistry of tau proteins found in neurons and throughout the central nervous system, a hallmark of Alzheimer's.

Statin drugs used to lower cholesterol levels have been shown to protect against Alzheimer's. With more accurate figures for how cholesterol moves at the cellular level, Dr Porcar and his colleagues believe their findings will help improve the effectiveness of current treatments and open up avenues to creating new ones.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Garg et al. Noninvasive Neutron Scattering Measurements Reveal Slower Cholesterol Transport in Model Lipid Membranes. Biophysical Journal, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.06.014

Cite This Page:

Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL). "Precise measurements of cholesterol transport rates give new hope for Alzheimer’s treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110719072700.htm>.
Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL). (2011, July 19). Precise measurements of cholesterol transport rates give new hope for Alzheimer’s treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110719072700.htm
Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL). "Precise measurements of cholesterol transport rates give new hope for Alzheimer’s treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110719072700.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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