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Medicineworld.org: Brain protein levels and Alzheimer's disease

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Brain protein levels and Alzheimer's disease




Elevated levels of a growth protein in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients is associated with impaired neurogenesis, the process by which new neurons are generated, say scientists at the University of California, San Diego in today's edition of The Journal of Neuroscience
Eliezer Masliah, MD, professor of neurosciences and pathology in the UC San Diego School of Medicine and his colleagues report that increased levels of BMP6 part of a family of bone morphogenetic proteins involved in cell signaling and growth were found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients and in mouse models of the disease.



Brain protein levels and Alzheimer's disease
This is Eliezer Masliah, M.D., of the University of California - San Diego.

Credit: UCSD School of Medicine


BMP6 is primarily known to be involved in bone growth and the proliferation of non-neuronal glial cells in developing embryos. Its purpose in adult brains is less clear. "As a growth factor, it might initially be expressed for protective effect, a response to accumulating amyloid plaque proteins in Alzheimer's patients," said first author Leslie Crews, a post-doctoral researcher in Masliah's lab.

But too much BMP6 may be increasingly detrimental. Scientists observed that levels of BMP6 grew in step with the progression of Alzheimer's disease. "In early stages of AD, there was less protein than there was in later, more advanced stages," said Crews.

Higher-than-normal levels of BMP6 were found in the dentate gyrus of Alzheimer's patients and around characteristic amyloid plaques in the hippocampus. Both regions of the brain are critical to memory formation and storage.

In cell cultures, the researchers observed that BMP6 reduced the proliferation of cells, a discovery that suggests the protein could be a potential therapeutic target. "The next step is to see what happens when we normalize expression of BMP6," said Masliah. "If we can do that, it may possible to impact this part of AD's pathogenesis".

The protein provides an easier target than some molecules, said Crews, because it is secreted and circulates around cells in the brain. "We don't have to figure out how to get it into the brain and into cells," she said.


Posted by: Daniel    Source




Did you know?
Elevated levels of a growth protein in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients is associated with impaired neurogenesis, the process by which new neurons are generated, say scientists at the University of California, San Diego in today's edition of The Journal of Neuroscience

Medicineworld.org: Brain protein levels and Alzheimer's disease

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