Navigation Links
Researchers show how Alzheimer's plaques lead to loss of nitric oxide in brain

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 10 A researcher at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, in collaboration with scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has discovered that the deadly plaques of Alzheimer's disease interact with certain cellular proteins to inhibit normal signals that maintain blood flow to the brain. Their findings, which could lead to new approaches to treat the dementia, were recently published in Public Library of Science One.

Levels of nitric oxide (NO) a signaling molecule that helps regulate blood flow, immune and neurological processes are known to be low in the brains of people who have Alzheimer's disease, but the reason for that hasn't been clear, said study co-author Jeffrey S. Isenberg, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Pitt School of Medicine.

"Our research sheds light on how that loss of NO might happen, and reveals biochemical pathways that drug discoverers might be able to exploit to find new medicines for Alzheimer's," he said. "There is evidence that suggests enhancing NO levels can protect neurons from degenerating and dying."

The researchers, led by first author Thomas Miller, Ph.D., and senior author David D. Roberts, Ph.D., both of the Laboratory of Pathology in NIH's National Cancer Institute (NCI), found in mouse and human cell experiments that amyloid-beta, the main component of the plaques that accumulate on brain cells in Alzheimer's, binds to a cell surface receptor called CD36, which causes decreased activity of the enzyme soluble guanylate cyclase to reduce NO signaling. But that inhibitory effect required the presence of and interaction with CD47, another cell surface protein, indicating that additional steps in the pathway remain to be identified.

"It's possible that an agent that could block either CD36 or CD47 could slow the progress of neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer's by protecting the production of NO in the brain," Dr. Isenberg said. "Importantly, we have already indentified therapeutic agents that can interrupt the inhibitory signal induced by these interactions to maximize NO production, signaling and sensitivity."

He and his colleagues currently are studying such blockers in a variety of disease models.

Co-authors of the paper include Hubert B. Shih and Yichen Wang, both of NCI. The research was funded by NCI and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


Contact: Anita Srikameswaran
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Related biology news :

1. Mayo researchers describe measles viral protein movement
2. Increasing diversity of future life science researchers
3. Biofuel grasslands better for birds than ethanol staple corn, researchers find
4. Researchers investigate why a limited number of white blood cells are attracted to injured tissue
5. MIT researchers study the danger of toxoplasma parasites
6. Researchers discover potential solutions to New England roadside erosion
7. UK researchers contribute to sequencing strawberry genome
8. An important breakthrough by IRCM researchers in hematopoiesis and the development of B cells
9. Carnegie Mellon researchers discover mechanism for signaling receptor recycling
10. Researchers discover genetic predisposition for breast, kidney cancers
11. Polar bears no longer on thin ice: researchers say polar bears could face brighter future
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/28/2016)... -- First quarter 2016:   , Revenues ... first quarter of 2015 The gross margin was 49% ... and the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per ... from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook ... 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 is estimated ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... April 15, 2016 Research ... Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  ... ) , ,The global gait biometrics market is ... during the period 2016-2020. Gait analysis ... can be used to compute factors that are ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: ... SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our successful effort ... variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against counterfeiting ... from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ongoing ... Bill Bollander , CEO states, "By ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Global demand for enzymes ... through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  This market includes ... cleaning products, biofuel production, animal feed, and other ... and biocatalysts). Food and beverages will remain the ... increasing consumption of products containing enzymes in developing ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , ... announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables ... the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , a ... engineering, was today awarded as one of the ... the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is ... the real world in the nutrition, health and ... directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona ... or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the ... are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can ...
Breaking Biology Technology: