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Scientific result | Brain | Gene and cell therapy | Alzheimer's disease | Cellular mechanisms
Researchers from MIRCen have shown that inhibiting reactive astrocytes is beneficial for certain characteristics of Alzheimer's disease. Their results could lead to novel therapies that act upon astrocytes to improve neuron function.
Normally, astrocytes play a vital role within the brain, where they support the correct function of neurons. However, in the presence of neurodegenerative pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease, they change into a "reactive" state. What effect does this change have on the astrocyte's normal role of neuronal function support? Are reactive astrocytes beneficial or detrimental in the setting of Alzheimer's disease?
To respond to these questions, researchers from MIRCen1 developed an original, viral-vector-based methodology to block an astrocyte reactivity signaling pathway in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Through partnerships with several French laboratories2, including two at the François Jacob Institute of Biology3, a variety of genetic, histological, biochemical, electrophysiological and behavioral techniques were deployed to determine the consequences of astrocyte reactivity inhibition on the molecular, cellular and functional alterations characteristic of Alzheimer's disease.
Modulation of astrocyte reactivity improves functional deficits in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease I Acta Neuropathologica Communications 2018 6:104
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