Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cholesterol increases risk of Alzheimer's and heart disease

Date:
April 15, 2013
Source:
University of Colorado Denver
Summary:
Using insights gained from studying two much rarer disorders, Down Syndrome and Niemann Pick-C disease, researchers found that cholesterol wreaks havoc on the orderly process of cell division, leading to defective daughter cells throughout the body.

Researchers at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome and the University of Colorado School of Medicine have found that a single mechanism may underlie the damaging effect of cholesterol on the brain and on blood vessels.

Related Articles


High levels of blood cholesterol increase the risk of both Alzheimer's disease and heart disease, but it has been unclear exactly how cholesterol damages the brain to promote Alzheimer's disease and blood vessels to promote atherosclerosis.

Using insights gained from studying two much rarer disorders, Down Syndrome and Niemann Pick-C disease, researchers at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome and the Department of Neurology of the University of Colorado School of Medicine found that cholesterol wreaks havoc on the orderly process of cell division, leading to defective daughter cells throughout the body.

In the new study published this week in the on-line journal PLOS ONE, Antoneta Granic, PhD, and Huntington Potter, PhD, show that cholesterol, particularly in the LDL form, called 'bad cholesterol', causes cells in both humans and mice to divide incorrectly and distribute their already-duplicated chromosomes unequally to the next generation. The result is an accumulation of defective daughter cells with the wrong number of chromosomes and therefore the wrong number of genes. Instead of the correct two copies of each chromosome, and thus two copies of each gene, some cells acquired three copies and some only one.

Granic and Potter's study of the effects of cholesterol on cell division included a prominent finding of cells carrying three copies of the chromosome (#21 in humans and #16 in mice) that encodes the amyloid peptide that is the key component of the neurotoxic amyloid filaments that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer patients.

Human trisomy 21 cells are significant because people with Down syndrome have trisomy 21 in all of their cells from the moment of conception, and they all develop the brain pathology and many develop the dementia of Alzheimer's disease by age 50. Earlier studies by Granic, Potter and others have shown that as many as 10% of cells in an Alzheimer patient, including neurons in the brain, have three copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual two. Thus, Alzheimer's disease is, in some ways, a form of acquired Down syndrome. Furthermore, mutant genes that cause inherited Alzheimer's disease cause the same defect in chromosome segregation as does cholesterol, thus indicating the presence of a common cell division problem in both familial and 'sporadic' (non-familial) Alzheimer's disease.

The new research also found trisomy 21 neurons in the brains of children with what, until now, was thought to be an unrelated neurodegenerative disease (Niemann Pick type C), caused by a mutation affecting cholesterol physiology. This result suggests that neurodegeneration itself might be linked to chromosome missegregation.

Such a model is supported by the finding of Thomas Arendt, MD, and colleagues at the University of Leipzig that 90% of the neuronal cell death observed at autopsy in Alzheimer patients is due to the creation and selective loss of neurons with the wrong number of chromosomes.

Identifying the specific problem caused by cholesterol will lead to completely new approaches to therapy for many human diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis and possibly cancer, all of which show signs of defective cell division. Granic and Potter already have found a potentially simple approach to preventing cholesterol from causing cells to distribute their chromosomes unequally into their new daughter cells. Specifically, when cells in culture were first treated with ethanol, the subsequent exposure to bad cholesterol was without effect on cell division: Each daughter cell received the correct number of chromosomes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado Denver. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Antoneta Granic, Huntington Potter. Mitotic Spindle Defects and Chromosome Mis-Segregation Induced by LDL/Cholesterol—Implications for Niemann-Pick C1, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Atherosclerosis. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (4): e60718 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060718

Cite This Page:

University of Colorado Denver. "Cholesterol increases risk of Alzheimer's and heart disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415182507.htm>.
University of Colorado Denver. (2013, April 15). Cholesterol increases risk of Alzheimer's and heart disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415182507.htm
University of Colorado Denver. "Cholesterol increases risk of Alzheimer's and heart disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415182507.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) 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:

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