Donna Wilcock of the Sanders-Brown Center for Aging in her laboratory on August 14, 2019. Photo credit: Mark Cornelison | UKphoto
Research investigating a possible new therapeutic approach for Alzheimer's disease was recently published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation. The paper from the University of Kentucky Sanders Brown Center for Aging Research (SBCoA) is entitled "Trem2 Therapeutic Activation Improves Amyloid Beta Deposition and Improves Perception in the 5XFAD Model of Amyloid Deposition". The work dealt with the fight against inflammation using an antibody. Alzheimer's disease and related dementias do not currently have disease-modifying treatments and pose a looming public health crisis in the face of the steadily growing aging population.
The paper explains that current therapeutic approaches to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease focus on the main pathological features of the disease, namely amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. They are the prerequisites for a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. However, the authors say there has been an explosion of genetic data suggesting that the risk of sporadic Alzheimer's disease depends on several other factors, including neuroinflammation, membrane turnover and storage, and lipid metabolism.
In this study, researchers focused on triggering the receptor expressed on myeloid cell 2 (TREM2). "TREM2 was identified several years ago as a gene that, when mutated, significantly increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease. The field suggests that this mutation decreases the function of the receptor. We therefore believed that targeting TREM2 to increase its Function could be a gene. " valid treatment for Alzheimer's, "stated Donna Wilcock, SBCoA associate director.
Through group work, they found that therapeutic targeting of TREM2 using a TREM2-activating antibody resulted in the activation of microglia, recruiting microglia onto amyloid plaques, reducing amyloid deposition, and ultimately improving cognition. "The big upside is that this is the first approach targeting TREM2 to promote microglia and clear out the amyloid deposits in the brain that are believed to be the cause of Alzheimer's," said Wilcock.
The biopharmaceutical company Alector developed the antibody for this study, which was carried out in mice. Given the success of the study, SBCoA will serve as the site for an upcoming clinical trial with this new approach.
The brain's immune system can be the key to new Alzheimer's treatments
Brittani R. Price et al., Therapeutic Trem2 Activation Improves Amyloid Beta Deposition and Improves Perception in the 5XFAD Model of Amyloid Deposition, Journal of Neuroinflammation (2020). DOI: 10.1186 / s12974-020-01915-0
University of Kentucky
Study leads to potential for a new treatment approach for Alzheimer's (2020, August 25)
accessed on August 25, 2020
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