Innovative method to treat Alzheimer's in mice

April 1, 2013
Innovative method to treat Alzheimer's in mice
Amyloid-beta peptide in the brain of the mouse model, before gene transfer using AAV.

Researchers from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute report that they successfully used a virus vector to restore the expression of a brain protein and improve cognitive functions, in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers, led by Dr Takaomi Saido, developed an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector carrying the neprilysin gene that they administered to neprilysin-deficient mice. Because it is impossible to deliver genes directly to the brain without surgery, the researchers injected the virus in the of the heart, as this provides a direct route to the brain.

Innovative method to treat Alzheimer's in mice
Amyloid-beta peptide in the mouse model after the gene transfer.

They show that neprilysin was expressed in the brain of the mice and that this resulted in a decrease in the accumulation of amyloid-beta peptide, the protein responsible for cognitive decline in Alzheimer's patients. The researchers also observe a reduction of the symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease in the mice, such as memory loss. These results point towards a new therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Explore further: Characterizing a toxic offender

More information: The results are presented in the journal Scientific Reports, DOI: 10.1038/srep01472

Related Stories

Characterizing a toxic offender

December 9, 2011

The brains of individuals with Alzheimer's disease contain protein aggregates called plaques and tangles, which interfere with normal communication between nerve cells and cause progressive learning and memory deficits. Now, ...

Recommended for you

Two in ten Alzheimer's cases may be misdiagnosed

July 26, 2016

(HealthDay)—Alzheimer's disease is often misdiagnosed, possibly causing undue stress for those who don't have the disease but are told they do, and delays in treatment for others, two new studies reveal.

'Pac-Man' gene implicated in Alzheimer's disease

July 26, 2016

A gene that protects the brain from the harmful build-up of amyloid-beta, one of the causative proteins implicated in Alzheimer's disease, has been identified as a new target for therapy by NeuRA researchers.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.