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Novel herbal compound offers potential to prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease
Date:2/15/2013

into similar control and TSG-treated groups and were treated for 6 months.

The authors used a variety of techniques to hone in on what was happening in the brains of the Tg mice compared to age-matched controls: cDNA microarray analysis, reverse transcription PCR, western blotting, and immunochemistry. They found that α-synuclein messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein expression levels increase in a time-dependent manner in the hippocampus of Tg mice between ages 4 and 16 months and α-synuclein aggregation was noticeable at 16 months. Age-related increases in α-synuclein were also seen in the control mice but to a lesser degree.

"We suggest that, besides increased Aβ (beta-amyloid) and amyloid plaques, overexpression and aggregation of α-synuclein in the hippocampus might partially account for cognitive impairment in this Tg mouse model of AD," comments co-lead investigator Lin Li, MD, PhD, Professor and Director, Department of Pharmacology, Xuanwu Hospital of Capital Medical University in Beijing. She adds that "α-synuclein overexpression occurs even in the early phase of AD and may accelerate Aβ production and deposition, which further facilitates α-synuclein overexpression and accumulation."

Analysis of the TSG-treated groups showed that TSG-treatment from the age of 4 to 10 months significantly downregulated α-synuclein mRNA and protein overexpression in the hippocampus of the Tg mice, and the effect was stronger at the higher dose. This suggests that TSG may have a role in preventing the neurotoxic effects of α-synuclein on synaptic function and cell activity. In addition, the finding that Tg reduced α-synuclein overexpression in older animals (>10 months) may indicate that it has therapeutic potential even after neuropathologic changes have occurred.

In previous work, the authors found that TSG acts as a "cognitive enhancer" to improve learning and memory in both APP transg
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Contact: Daphne Watrin
d.watrin@iospress.nl
31-206-883-355
IOS Press
Source:Eurekalert

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