Stimulating the brain's immune response may provide treatment for Alzheimer's disease

Jan 26, 2011

A new target for the prevention of adverse immune responses identified as factors in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been discovered by researchers at the University of South Florida's Department of Psychiatry and the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair.

Their findings are published online in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The CD45 molecule is a receptor on the surface of the brain's microglia cells, cells that support the brain's and also participate in brain immune responses.

Previous studies by the USF researchers showed that triggering CD45 was beneficial because it blocked a very early step in the development of Alzheimer's disease. In the present study, the researchers demonstrated in Alzheimer's mouse models that a loss of CD45 led to dramatically increased microglial inflammation.

Although the brain's is involved in Alzheimer's disease pathology, "this finding suggests that CD45 on brain appears critically involved in dampening harmful inflammation," said study senior author Jun Tan, MD, PhD, a professor of psychiatry and Robert A. Silver chair at the Rashid Laboratory for Developmental Neurobiology, USF Silver Child Development Center and research biologist for Research and Development Service at the James A. Haley Veteran's Hospital.

The investigators also found an increase in harmful , such as A beta , as well as neuron loss in the brains of the test mice.

"In short, CD45 deficiency leads to increased accumulation of neurotoxic A beta in the brains of old Alzheimer's mice, demonstrating the involvement of CD45 in clearing those toxins and protecting neurons," Dr. Tan said. "These findings are quite significant, because many in the field have long considered CD45 to be an indicator of harmful . So, researchers assumed that CD45 was part of the problem, not a potential protective factor."

The next step is to apply these findings to develop new Alzheimer's disease treatments, said Paula Bickford, PhD, a professor in the USF Department of Neurosurgery and senior career research scientist at the James A. Haley Veteran's Hospital.

"We are already working with Natura Therapeutics, Inc. to screen for natural compounds that will target CD45 activation in the brain's immune cells," Dr. Bickford said.

Explore further: Researchers track down cause of eye mobility disorder

More information: http://www.jneurosci.org/

Provided by University of South Florida

4.5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Team studies T cell activation with nanoparticles

Apr 28, 2010

A University of Alberta-led research team has taken a major step forward in understanding how T cells are activated in the course of an immune response by combining nanotechnology and cell biology. T cells are the all important ...

Recommended for you

Researchers track down cause of eye mobility disorder

10 hours ago

Imagine you cannot move your eyes up, and you cannot lift your upper eyelid. You walk through life with your head tilted upward so that your eyes look straight when they are rolled down in the eye socket. ...

How kids' brain structures grow as memory develops

11 hours ago

Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

Simplicity is key to co-operative robots

A way of making hundreds—or even thousands—of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Progress in the fight against quantum dissipation

(Phys.org) —Scientists at Yale have confirmed a 50-year-old, previously untested theoretical prediction in physics and improved the energy storage time of a quantum switch by several orders of magnitude. ...