The François Jacob Institute of Biology brings together five departments and three services
The last two years in scientific news
Highlight | Scientific result | News | Neurodegenerative diseases | Alzheimer's disease
Scientists from the Laboratory of Neurodegenerative Diseases (MIRCen/ François Jacob Institute of Biology) in collaboration with the Neurocentre Magendie (Inserm/University of Bordeaux) have just highlighted the decisive role played by a metabolic pathway in memory disorders in Alzheimer's disease. Their work, published on March 3 in Cell Metabolism, also shows that L-serine intake, in the form of a dietary supplement, restores the spatial memory that is affected early on in mouse models of the disease. A promising avenue to alleviate memory disorders in Alzheimer’s disease.
The brain consumes a large part of the energy available in
our body. Its proper functioning is based on close cooperation between neurons
and the cells in their environment, particularly the astrocytes. The early
stage of Alzheimer's disease is characterized by a reduction in this energy
metabolism, but it is not known whether this deficit can contribute directly to
the cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
A collaborative study, led by Gilles Bonvento's team at the
LMN (MIRCen) and the Neurocentre Magedie (INSERM), has shown in a mouse model
of Alzheimer's disease that a decrease in glucose consumption by astrocytes
leads to a reduction in the production of L-serine, an amino acid produced
mainly by these cells in the brain and whose biosynthesis pathway is altered in
Astrocytes are brain cells, known as glial cells, which
support neurons, but which are now known to perform a range of key functions
regulating the transmission of information in the brain. Through the blood
vessels with which they are connected, astrocytes collect glucose before
transforming it into various metabolites, including the amino acid L-Serine,
the precursor of D-Serine. D-Serine acts as a 'gliatransmitter' in the
hippocampus where, once released at the synapses, it binds to the neuronal NMDA
receptors, which play an essential role in learning and memory.
The identification of the role of L-serine in cognitive
impairment and the experimental efficacy of nutritional supplementation are
paving the way for new strategies, complementary to drug therapies, to combat
the early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and other diseases with altered brain
metabolism, such as Parkinson's or Huntington's disease.
-> These results have been shared through a press release.
Impairment of Glycolysis-Derived L-Serine Production in Astrocytes Contributes to Cognitive Deficits in Alzheimer's Disease I Cell Metabolism
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.