Breaking News
June 22, 2018 - Researchers report unusually high levels of herpesvirus in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease
June 22, 2018 - Theoretical models predict how juveniles evolve to be more susceptible than adults to infection
June 22, 2018 - USC study reveals how the cell launches emergency response to repair damaged DNA
June 22, 2018 - $1.9 million grant aims to enhance behavioral health services in community-based settings
June 22, 2018 - New 3D imaging technique could improve arthritis treatment
June 22, 2018 - Cytokinetics Announces Data From Phase 2 Clinical Study of Reldesemtiv in Patients With Spinal Muscular Atrophy
June 22, 2018 - Polarized cells give the heart its fully developed form
June 21, 2018 - Stem cells appear to help fight obesity in animal models
June 21, 2018 - Harnessing Pediatric Cancer Genomic Data in the Cloud
June 21, 2018 - Training nursing students with cost-effective 3D-printed task trainers
June 21, 2018 - Study provides insight into how planned and spontaneous movements are processed in the brain
June 21, 2018 - Suicide Prevention | SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
June 21, 2018 - From designer microbes to stem cells, researchers are investigating new strategies to treat bowel disease
June 21, 2018 - Study suggests state-of-the-art genomic testing for routine autopsy of stillbirths
June 21, 2018 - Christiana Care Health System opens first Epilepsy Monitoring Unit in Delaware
June 21, 2018 - CDC: Obesity Prevalence Higher in Non-Metropolitan Counties
June 21, 2018 - Youths Treated for Non-Suicidal Self Harm at Increased Risk of Suicide Within a Year
June 21, 2018 - Pediatric kidney recipients often have subclinical inflammation
June 21, 2018 - OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Director wins 2018 Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science
June 21, 2018 - Researchers study broader effects of neonics on wildlife
June 21, 2018 - Study provides new insight on how antibiotics affect the gut microbiome
June 21, 2018 - InHealth Technologies becomes exclusive distributor of RENÚ Voice, RENÚ Gel in the United States
June 21, 2018 - New analysis links higher BMI to lower breast cancer risk for younger women
June 21, 2018 - Interactive preclinical PET-MR workshop demonstrates benefits of multi-modality imaging
June 21, 2018 - Gene signature could improve early diagnosis of TB
June 21, 2018 - Psychiatric Drug Lithium Tied to Birth Defect Risk
June 21, 2018 - Preclinical study suggests ARID1a may be useful biomarker for immunotherapy
June 21, 2018 - Risks of cancer and mortality found to be lowest in light drinkers
June 21, 2018 - Fetal immune cells are fast-acting first responders to microbes in adulthood
June 21, 2018 - Researchers invent medical device for proliferation, differentiation of neural stem cells
June 21, 2018 - Study explores current understanding of human physiology, pathology, trauma and surgery in space
June 21, 2018 - Scientists explore interactions between chromosomes 12 and 17
June 21, 2018 - People with severe obesity constantly try to reduce or control their weight
June 21, 2018 - Breakthrough discovery reveals brain metals that may drive progression of Alzheimer’s disease
June 21, 2018 - New methods of fragment-based lead discovery to identify potential antibiotics
June 21, 2018 - Recovery and Treatment | NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine
June 21, 2018 - Study finds cell-free DNA profiling as versatile method to monitor UTIs
June 21, 2018 - ‘Hidden’ driver discovered that helps prime the anti-tumor immune response
June 21, 2018 - Groundbreaking discovery could be key to preventing cancer metastasis
June 21, 2018 - Impulse control disorders found to be more common in people taking Parkinson’s drugs
June 21, 2018 - Study finds possible link between Type 2 diabetes and common white pigment
June 21, 2018 - Most emergency department patients wish to be involved in medical decision-making
June 21, 2018 - Study highlights growing problem of ‘iPad neck’ among young adults and women
June 21, 2018 - UT Southwestern scientists identify gene mutation linked with perplexing brain condition
June 21, 2018 - Probiotics could cut age-related bone loss in elderly women
June 21, 2018 - New study sheds light on role of vitamin D in healthy pregnancy
June 21, 2018 - Teva Provides Update on Clinical Trial of Fremanezumab for Use in Chronic Cluster Headache
June 21, 2018 - Unlocking the secrets of HIV’s persistence
June 21, 2018 - New guidelines recommend newborns with Down’s syndrome to receive leukemia test
June 21, 2018 - BetterYou’s new Magnesium Bone Lotion helps maximize bone health
June 21, 2018 - UH scientist receives grant to examine understudied part of glaucoma
June 21, 2018 - Lifestyle intervention could normalize unhealthy behaviors that lead to cancer, chronic disease
June 21, 2018 - Combining two anti-malarial vaccines could greatly reduce number of infections
June 21, 2018 - By 2030, prostate and lung cancers expected to be most common cancers among HIV population
June 21, 2018 - Researchers evaluate patient satisfaction and well-being after breast reconstruction
June 21, 2018 - Combining stem cell technology and artificial intelligence to diagnose genetic cardiac diseases
June 21, 2018 - Monash study reveals why older people have reduced immune responses to cancer therapy
June 21, 2018 - Researchers develop new microscope system that can image living tissue in real time
June 21, 2018 - Long-term estrogen therapy alters microbial composition and activity in the gut
June 21, 2018 - Study points to dangers of feeding non-dairy drink to infants
June 21, 2018 - Cannabis Use Linked to Psychosis Symptoms in Adolescents
June 21, 2018 - Inadequate sleep could cost countries billions
June 21, 2018 - Inhibiting epigenetic proteins with drugs could prevent development of breast cancer
June 21, 2018 - Study identifies factors that contribute to vaginal dryness
June 21, 2018 - Researchers employ nucleotide-based gene silencing to mitigate common ataxia
June 21, 2018 - New tool determines best treatment plan for adults with severe asthma
June 21, 2018 - Identifying gene variants that contribute to ovarian reserve may improve female fertility
June 21, 2018 - Religious involvement has no significant effect on misuse of prescription opioids, study finds
June 21, 2018 - Researchers characterize key signaling network that drives growth of triple negative breast cancers
June 21, 2018 - AHA: Big Weight Gain in 1st Pregnancy Could Boost Preeclampsia Risk
June 21, 2018 - How vaping helps even hardened smokers quit
June 21, 2018 - Gaming disorder an official disease condition says WHO
June 21, 2018 - Oxygen consumption in human BAT increases after a meal, shows research
June 21, 2018 - Research finds addictions to be diseases of the brain, not criminal behavior or personality disorders
June 21, 2018 - New study is testing safety and efficacy of glycoside in breaking up kidney stones
June 21, 2018 - Biosimilar competition may offer hope for cheaper, better psoriasis treatments in the future
June 21, 2018 - Cells form cage-like structures that trap viruses
June 21, 2018 - Wound protector use linked to significant reduction in surgical site infection
June 21, 2018 - African Americans and Latinos are more likely to be at risk for depression than Whites
June 21, 2018 - Genome study presents new way to track historical demographics of US populations
Biomarker may predict early Alzheimer’s disease

Biomarker may predict early Alzheimer’s disease

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
DAG (green-labeled peptide) targeting to the brain blood vessel (labeled red) in the hippocampus of the Alzheimer brain. Credit: Ruoslahti Lab, SBP

Researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have identified a peptide that could lead to the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The discovery, published in Nature Communications, may also provide a means of homing drugs to diseased areas of the brain to treat AD, Parkinson’s disease, as well as glioblastoma, brain injuries and stroke.

“Our goal was to find a new biomarker for AD,” says Aman Mann, Ph.D., research assistant professor at SBP who shares the lead authorship of the study with Pablo Scodeller, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher at SBP. “We have identified a peptide (DAG) that recognizes a protein that is elevated in the brain blood vessels of AD mice and human patients. The DAG target, connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) appears in the AD brain before amyloid plaques, the pathological hallmark of AD.”

“CTGF is a protein that is made in the brain in response to inflammation and tissue repair,” explains Mann. “Our finding that connects elevated levels of CTGF with AD is consistent with the growing body of evidence suggesting that inflammation plays an important role in the development of AD.”

The research team identified the DAG peptide using in vivo phage display screening at different stages of AD development in a mouse model. In young AD mice, DAG detected the earliest stage of the disease. If the early appearance of the DAG target holds true in humans, it would mean that DAG could be used as a tool to identify patients at early, pre-symptomatic stages of the disease when treatments already available may still be effective.

“Importantly, we showed that DAG binds to cells and brain from AD human patients in a CTGF-dependent manner” says Mann. “This is consistent with an earlier report of high CTGF expression in the brains of AD patients.”

Dr. Aman Mann of the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute discusses a finding that may lead to earlier detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Credit: Kristen Cusato

“Our findings show that endothelial cells, the cells that form the inner lining of blood vessels, bind our DAG peptide in the parts of the mouse brain affected by the disease,” says Erkki Ruoslahti, M.D., Ph.D., distinguished professor at SBP and senior author of the paper. “This is very significant because the endothelial cells are readily accessible for probes injected into the blood stream, whereas other types of cells in the brain are behind a protective wall called the blood-brain barrier. The change in AD blood vessels gives us an opportunity to create a diagnostic method that can detect AD at the earliest stage possible.

“But first we need to develop an imaging platform for the technology, using MRI or PET scans to differentiate live AD mice from normal mice. Once that’s done successfully, we can focus on humans,” adds Ruoslahti.

“As our research progresses we also foresee CTGF as a potential therapeutic target that is unrelated to amyloid beta (Aβ), the toxic protein that creates brain plaques,” says Ruoslahti. “Given the number of failed clinical studies that have sought to treat AD patients by targeting Aβ, it’s clear that treatments will need to be given earlier—before amyloid plaques appear—or have to target entirely different pathways.

“DAG has the potential to fill both roles—identifying at risk individuals prior to overt signs of AD and targeted delivery of drugs to diseased areas of the brain. Perhaps CTGF itself can be a drug target in AD and other brain disorders linked to inflammation. We’ll just have to learn more about its role in these diseases”.

This technology has been licensed to a startup company, AivoCode Inc.


Explore further:
Alzheimer’s disease might be a ‘whole body’ problem

Journal reference:
Nature Communications

Provided by:
Sanford-Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles