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JCI online early table of contents: April 13, 2009
Date:4/13/2009

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Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are associated with the modification and accumulation of a protein called TAU in the brain. These diseases are therefore known as tauopathies and they have no cure. In a new study, Christian Haass and his colleagues at Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Germany, have developed a zebrafish model for tauopathies that they hope will be helpful in screening for therapies for such diseases.

Zebrafish larvae are transparent and small, which makes them ideal for in vivo imaging studies. In the study, the researchers generated zebrafish expressing a mutant form of human TAU associated with FTD and fluorescently labeled the cells expressing this protein, which enabled them to image the brain cell death accompanying TAU accumulation. A compound that could inhibit the TAU-related protein GSK3-beta was also identified and shown to reduce TAU modification. The authors therefore conclude that this zebrafish model of tauopathies may enable more rapid and systematic evaluation of pharmacologic therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.

TITLE: A zebrafish model of tauopathy allows in vivo imaging of neuronal cell death and drug evaluation

AUTHOR CONTACT:
Christian Haass
Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.
Phone: 49-89-2180-75472; Fax: 49-89-2180-75415; E-mail: chaass@med.uni-muenchen.de.

View the PDF of this article at: https://www.the-jci.org/article.php?id=37537


ONCOLOGY: Distinguishing aggressive prostate cancer from nonaggressive disease

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide. However, a sizeable proportion of men diagnosed with the disease have a tumor that will never cause a problem. Currently there is no good way to distinguish these individuals,
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