Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Glycogen accumulation in neurons causes brain damage and shortens the lives of flies and mice

Date:
May 2, 2012
Source:
Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB
Summary:
Scientists have conclusive evidence about the harmful effects of the accumulation of glucose chains (glycogen) in fly and mouse neurons. These two animal models will allow scientists to address the genes involved in this harmful process and to find pharmacological solutions that allow disintegration of the accumulations or limitation of glycogen production.

Comparative microscope images. The lower picture shows a cerebellum sample from a healthy mouse. Above, the same tissue after glycogen accumulation.
Credit: Jordi Duran. IRB Barcelona

Collaborative research by groups headed by scientists Joan J. Guinovart and Marco Milán at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has revealed conclusive evidence about the harmful effects of the accumulation of glucose chains (glycogen) in fly and mouse neurons. These two animal models will allow scientists to address the genes involved in this harmful process and to find pharmacological solutions that allow disintegration of the accumulations or limitation of glycogen production.

Advances in this direction would make a significant contribution to investigation into Lafora progressive myoclonic epilepsy and other neurodegenerative diseases characterized by glycogen accumulation in neurons. The journal EMBO Molecular Medicine publishes the results of the study this week.

"Our data clearly indicate that glycogen accumulation alone kills neurons and thus dramatically reduces lifespan," explains Guinovart, an expert in glycogen metabolism, group leader at IRB Barcelona, and senior professor at the University of Barcelona, "because the only thing we have manipulated in the neurons is their capacity to produce glycogen."

The inclusion of the Drosophila fly in the study provides in vivo confirmation of the theory in another animal model as these flies also show the same symptoms of degeneration as mice when glycogen accumulates in neurons. However, in addition the use of Drosophila will speed upobtaining genetic data and the screening of therapeutic molecules. "In a short time we will be able to perform a massive search for genes involved in the pathological process and to understand it better at the molecular level," emphasizes Marco Milán, ICREA researcher at IRB Barcelona and a specialist in Drosophila. "But the flies will also be useful to identify pharmacological molecules that can cure," he explains.

The IRB Barcelona teams are designing several experiments to identify the possible therapeutic targets that may be useful to prevent glycogen accumulation in neurons. In addition to the direct relation to Lafora epilepsy, a progressive degenerative disease that affects adolescents and has no cure, glycogen accumulation could be the main cause of other neurodegenerative illnesses such as Adult polyglucosan body disease and Andersen's disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jordi Duran, María Florencia Tevy, Mar Garcia-Rocha, Joaquim Calbó, Marco Milán, Joan J. Guinovart. Deleterious effects of neuronal accumulation of glycogen in flies and mice. EMBO Molecular Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/emmm.201200241

Cite This Page:

Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. "Glycogen accumulation in neurons causes brain damage and shortens the lives of flies and mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120502091927.htm>.
Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. (2012, May 2). Glycogen accumulation in neurons causes brain damage and shortens the lives of flies and mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120502091927.htm
Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. "Glycogen accumulation in neurons causes brain damage and shortens the lives of flies and mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120502091927.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) — As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) — Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
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