Beginning of Alzheimer's may Be Studied by New Membrane Model

by Rajashri on July 24, 2008 at 4:38 PM
 Beginning of Alzheimer's may Be Studied by New Membrane Model

Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and three other institutions have developed a new model of the membrane surrounding neurons in the brain, which may help understand what role a protein may play in beginning Alzheimer's disease.

Writing about their work in the Biophysical Journal, the researchers highlight the fact that the brain's neurons transmit nerve impulses down a long stem that is surrounded by a two-layer membrane.


They also point out that medical experts have believed for years that small polypeptides called amyloid beta peptides create a "leaky" membrane that disrupts this impulse transmission, a breakdown that may start Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers say that amyloid beta peptides clump together to form plaques as the disease progresses, further destroying nerve function.

According to them, their laboratory model recreates a simplified version of the nerve cell membrane, and this may allow the study of Alzheimer's disease mechanisms at the molecular level.

In an experiment, the researchers exposed the membrane model to different concentrations of a specific form of amyloid beta peptides, which increased cation movement across the normally strong barrier at the higher concentrations of the peptides.

The data support the hypothesis that membrane "leakiness" is not due to a permanent hole being formed but rather to an aggregation of amyloid beta peptides in the membrane that allows cations to be passed from peptide to peptide across the bilayer, like a baton handed off by relay runners.

The researchers are continuing to use their model system to better understand the role amyloid beta peptides play in early-stage Alzheimer's disease.

In due course, they will be investigating how amyloid beta peptide aggregates arrange themselves in the membrane, how the peptide aggregates affect or influence calcium channels (portals for calcium ion movement) in the membrane, and how the peptides interact with membranes constructed with other types of lipids.

Source: ANI
Font : A-A+



Recommended Readings

Latest Research News

South Korea's 2050 Forecast: Negative Growth Amid Low Fertility
South Korea's total fertility rate, averaging the number of children a woman aged 15-49 has in her lifetime, dropped to 0.81.
New Immunotherapy for Psoriasis & Vitiligo
Scientists identified mechanisms governing immune cells, selectively removing troublemakers to reshape skin immunity. Benefits those with psoriasis, vitiligo.
2050 Forecast: 1.06 Billion Individuals to Face 'Other' Musculoskeletal Disorders
By 2050, an anticipated increase from 494 million cases in 2020 to 1.06 billion people with musculoskeletal disabilities is expected.
Gene Therapies Can Disrupt Gaucher Disease Drug Market
Experts consulted by GlobalData anticipate a significant overhaul in the Gaucher disease scenario because of forthcoming gene therapies in development.
NASH Cases Expected to Hit 26.55 Million in 7MM by 2032
Within the seven major markets, 12% to 20% of diagnosed prevalent NASH cases present severe liver damage (stage 4 liver fibrosis), denoting cirrhosis.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Beginning of Alzheimer's may Be Studied by New Membrane Model Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests