Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Epigenetic markers show promise in Alzheimer's disease

Date:
October 6, 2013
Source:
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP)
Summary:
New evidence links epigenetic regulation with Alzheimer’s disease, which may one day lead to new early diagnostic tests and even novel treatment options for the most common form of dementia.

New evidence presented at the 26th ECNP Congress linking epigenetic regulation with Alzheimer's disease may one day lead to new early diagnostic tests and even novel treatment options for the most common form of dementia.

Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic regulation is associated with the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and targeting it may one day lead to novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, research suggests.

Scientists at The School for Mental Health and Neuroscience at Maastricht University, the Netherlands, have been performing parallel studies in mice and men to investigate the role of epigenetic mechanisms in aging and AD.

"We have shown that aging in mice is associated with a variety of epigenetic changes in the brain," explained Dr van den Hove, who led the research. "Our data suggest that, from an epigenetic point of view, AD does not simply represent an accelerated form of aging, which puts existing knowledge in a completely new perspective," he added.

In mice, the researchers found that aging was associated with an increase in hippocampal DNA methyltransferase 3a, a novel DNA methyltransferase that was shown to play a role in cell proliferation and differentiation. Age-related increases of 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC), markers of global DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation respectively, were also identified.

Histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2), which forms a part of methyl-CpG-binding complexes and is crucially involved in memory formation and neurodegeneration-related cognitive impairment, was also shown to increase with age.

"Interestingly, caloric restriction, which has been suggested as an effective strategy to prevent or attenuate age-related processes in the brain, could prevent these epigenetic changes in aging mice," noted Dr van den Hove.

The team also collaborated in a series of studies performed in human post-mortem brain tissue. Working with Professor Coleman and Dr Diego Mastroeni at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute (Sun City, AZ, US), the researchers found that AD pathology in humans was associated with different methylation and hydroxymethylation patterns in the hippocampus compared with those seen in normal aging.

"We have found robust decrements of 5-mC and 5-hmC in the hippocampus of AD patients when compared to carefully-matched controls. Interestingly, this decrease correlated with hippocampal amyloid plaque load," explained Dr van den Hove.

Investigating whether these changes were linked with aberrant amyloid processing, the team looked at the same markers in the hippocampus of a mouse model of AD. They found that global methylation and hydroxymethylation increased with aging in normal mice, while the onset of AD pathology in the AD mice corresponded with an age-related dis-balance of the DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation markers. Furthermore, they observed negative correlations between global DNA methylation levels and amyloid plaque load.

"Because epigenetic processes are known to be dynamic and reversible, future treatment strategies directly targeting epigenetic regulation may provide powerful means for pharmacological and/or behavioural intervention strategies in neurodegenerative disorders like AD," speculated Dr van den Hove. Nevertheless, specificity and safety issues warrant further research before epigenetics-based therapies for AD could be clinically applicable.

And the findings may also lead to novel diagnostic tests for AD. "The fact that the degree of between-individual variation in DNA methylation profiles is partially correlated across the brain and blood offers the possibility that diagnostic predictors of AD risk will be discovered in peripheral tissues."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP). "Epigenetic markers show promise in Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131006142319.htm>.
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP). (2013, October 6). Epigenetic markers show promise in Alzheimer's disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131006142319.htm
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP). "Epigenetic markers show promise in Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131006142319.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
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