Science News
from research organizations

MAO is a possible Alzheimer's disease biomarker

Date:
December 7, 2016
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Alzheimer's disease affects more than 35 million people, a number that is expected to increase in the coming years. Currently, Alzheimer's diagnoses rely on clinical neuropathologic assessment of amyloid-beta peptide aggregates (plaques) and neurofibrillary tangles. But now researchers reveal that an enzyme already implicated in a host of neural disorders could someday serve as a biomarker.
Share:
FULL STORY

Researchers used mice studies to reveal that MAO activity (yellow) is directly correlated with the progression of Alzheimer's disease and may be used to stage the disease.
Credit: American Chemical Society

Alzheimer's disease affects more than 35 million people, a number that is expected to increase in the coming years. Currently, Alzheimer's diagnoses rely on clinical neuropathologic assessment of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide aggregates (plaques) and neurofibrillary tangles. But in ACS Central Science, researchers reveal that an enzyme already implicated in a host of neural disorders could someday serve as a biomarker.

In the brains of patients with Alzheimer's, amyloid peptides aggregate to form oligomers and plaques that are thought to be responsible for the disease symptoms. It is difficult to monitor Aβ aggregation in living animals and patients, and current methods to track it in patient brains are costly, have low resolution or require radiation. Monoamine oxidase (MAO) is involved in many neurological disorders, such as depression. In addition, MAO is known to be associated with Alzheimer's, but studies establishing this relationship were only conducted in lab dishes and test tubes. To better understand MAO's association with Alzheimer's, and to determine whether MAO levels could be used as a biomarker for the disease, Inhee Mook-Jung, Kyo Han Ahn and colleagues took the next step and studied the protein in a mouse model of Alzheimer's.

The team devised an imaging tool to watch both Aβ and MAO at the same time in mice, and observed that as Aβ plaques increase (that is, as Alzheimer's progresses), MAO activity also increases. The team also showed that there are three distinct phases of MAO activity that change along with Alzheimer's progression: a slow initiation stage, a subsequent aggressive stage and finally a saturation stage. The authors say these results suggest that MAO could be helpful as a biomarker to someday diagnose and monitor the disease in patients, possibly using body fluids.


Story Source:

Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dokyoung Kim, Sung Hoon Baik, Seokjo Kang, Seo Won Cho, Juryang Bae, Moon-Yong Cha, Michael J. Sailor, Inhee Mook-Jung, Kyo Han Ahn. Close Correlation of Monoamine Oxidase Activity with Progress of Alzheimer’s Disease in Mice, Observed by in Vivo Two-Photon Imaging. ACS Central Science, 2016; DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.6b00309

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "MAO is a possible Alzheimer's disease biomarker." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161207092914.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2016, December 7). MAO is a possible Alzheimer's disease biomarker. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161207092914.htm
American Chemical Society. "MAO is a possible Alzheimer's disease biomarker." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161207092914.htm (accessed May 26, 2017).

RELATED STORIES