Allison Elliott-Shannon

By

College: Medicine

UK Team Inhibits Alzheimer's Biomarkers in Animal Model by Targeting Astrocytes

Published: Dec 10, 2012

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 10, 2012) — A research team composed of University of Kentucky researchers has published a paper which provides the first direct evidence that activated astrocytes could play a harmful role in Alzheimer's disease. The UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has also received significant new National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to further this line of study.

 

Chris Norris, an associate professor in the UK College of Medicine Department of Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology, as well as a member of the faculty at the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, is the senior author on a paper published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience, entitled "Targeting astrocytes to ameliorate neurologic changes in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease." The first author on the article, Jennifer L. Furman, was a graduate student in the Norris laboratory during completion of the study.

 

The astrocyte is a very abundant non-neuronal cell type that performs absolutely critical functions for maintaining healthy nervous tissue. However, in neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease, many astrocytes exhibit clear physical changes often referred to as “astrocyte activation.” The appearance of activated astrocytes at very early stages of Alzheimer's has led to the idea that astrocytes contribute to the emergence and/or maintenance of other pathological markers of the disease, including synaptic dysfunction, neuroinflammation and accumulation of amyloid plaques.

 

Using an animal model, researchers directly modulated the activation state of hippocampal astrocytes using a form of gene therapy.

 

Mice received the gene therapy at a very young age, before the development of extensive amyloid plaque pathology, and were assessed 10 months later on a variety of Alzheimer's biomarkers.

 

The research team found that inhibition of astrocyte activation blunted the activation of microglia (a cell that mediates neuroinflammation), reduced toxic amyloid levels, improved synaptic function and plasticity, and preserved cognitive function.

 

Norris and collaborators suggest that similar astrocyte-based approaches could be developed to treat humans suffering from Alzheimer's disease, or possibly other neurodegenerative diseases. This study provides proof of principle that therapeutically targeting astrocytes can be beneficial.

 

Norris has been named the principal investigator on a new NIH award totaling $1,498,423 over a period of 5 years, to continue this line of research on Alzheimer's disease.

 

Other authors of the study, all based at UK, include Linda J. Van Eldik, Sanders-Brown director; M. Paul Murphy, Sanders-Brown and Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry associate professor; Diana M. Sama, J. Christopher Gant; Tina L. Beckett; and Adam D. Bachstetter.

 

The work on which the article is based was supported by NIH funding, a PhRMA Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, the Kleberg Foundation, and a gift from Jeffrey and Patti Tautenhan.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Elliott, allison.elliott@uky.edu

norris_lab_photo_1_for_allison_2.jpg
August
 
 
 
 
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Artful Sunday: Wrapped Art
Sun
4
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Mon
5
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
6
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
7
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
8
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
9
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
10
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
11
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Mon
12
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
UK Working Moms Connection
Tue
13
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Wed
14
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
15
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
16
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
17
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
18
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Mon
19
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Tue
20
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
Wed
21
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Thu
22
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Midnight Dodgeball Tournament
CARES First Year Focus Parent Meetings
CARES First Year Focus Parent Meetings
Parent and Families Reception
Residence Hall Floor Meeting
Off-campus Freshmen Check-in
K Team Meeting: K Week Kick-off
Death By Chocolate
Fri
23
Employee Educational Assistance Award
A Parent's Guide to Life after August 23
Campus Safety Information Session
Donut Avoid The Study
Common Cents: Money Management for College Students Session 1
See Blue...See Community
Succeeding in A Large Lecture Classroom
Horses, Bluegrass, Basketball, and More: Welcome to Kentucky
Success at Any Age: College Tips for Adult Learners
Write Right: Tips for Writing Well in College
Common Cents: Money Management for College Students Session 2
How to Graduate in Four Years
Parental Involvement in Fraternity and Sorority Life
Parents Watch for Warning Signs: Suicide Prevention for College Students
Preparing to be a Pre-Professional
Presentation U!: Where YOU are the Ultimate Presentation
Religious Life at UK
Successful Off-Campus Living
The Transfer Student Cruise: Navigating your way through UK
UK Parking & Transportation 101
You Heard It Here First: Tips From A Faculty Member
New Student Induction Ceremony
Minority Student Welcome
Transfer Student Cookout
K Team Meeting: K Week Overview
Men's Soccer vs. Georgia State
Big Blue U
Campus Ruckus
Campus Ruckus
Sat
24
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: Jackass 3
LNFS Presents: Godzilla
Pedalpalooza
K Team Meeting: Lunch and Campus Tour
Center for Community Outreach: Do Good, Start Here.
UK Lex-Mart
Alternative Service Breaks: See the World, Change the World
From the Real World to the Amazing Race, Don't Wipeout: Your Advisor, Advising, and You
Blackboard Basics
Student Government Association Information Session
EMPOWER: Women’s Leadership Retreat Interest Session
Student Center Spectacular
Student Center Spectacular
Sun
25
Employee Educational Assistance Award
UK FUSION
UK Parking & Transportation 101
University of Kentucky Association for Transfer Students Interest Session
Candy, Condoms, Coffee
Cleaner, Healthier, Cheaper, Faster: Why Bicycling is the Best Way to Get Around Campus (and how to do it safely)
Working on Campus
K Team Meeting: Dinner with your K Team
Meijer Mania
Mon
26
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Last Day to Drop a Course with 100% Refund
Chem at UK Cafe-N-OJ with the Student American Chemical Society
Coffee (or Coke), Cookies, & Communication!: Come see blue. at Presentation U!
Don't Blow Yourself Up: Surviving Chemistry
Fraternity Recruitment Info Session
OMG! Did I Just E-Mail That to My Professor???
Surviving Your First Year and Beyond: Strategies To Do Well in Your Classes
Sustainable UK: Exploring Environmental Programs in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment (CAFE)
A User Guide for Your Mathematics Class
Discover the UK Art Museum
K Team Meeting: Common Reading Experience Discussion
Common Reading Introduction for International Students
Transfer Student Meet and Greet
We Are UK
Rec 'N Roll 2014
Big Blue Bingo Night
Mic Check
Tue
27
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Fraternity Recruitment Info Session
LNFS Presents: Jurassic Park
First Day of Classes
Open House - Special Collections Research Center
King Cookout
Campus Outreach
Opening Act: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Wed
28
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Her
LNFS Presents: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Student Involvement Fair
OrgSync Info session
LGBTQ* Welcome Back
Dive Into Diversity!
CATalyst's Dive Into Diversity Session
Residence Hall Floor Meetings
Thu
29
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Sea of Blue
One Last Beach Bash: RSA Block Party
LNFS Presents: Team America: World Police
Pills and Pizza
K Week Event: Pills and Pizza
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Wichita State
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Francis Marion
Fri
30
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: Neighbors
The Tailgate "Kick-Off"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Butler
Kentucky Football vs. UT-Martin
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Virginia Tech
Sat
31
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ohio
Men's Soccer vs. Belmont
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aug 30
LNFS Presents: Neighbors 08/30/2014

Sun, 08/31/2014

Tue, 09/02/2014

Reset Page