Medical News Today reports the findings of two studies that identify the role of microglial cells (immune cells of the central nervous system) as potential avenues to prevent or reduce the protein build up telltale of Alzheimer’s disease. Out of the Neuroscience Initiative at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Research Institute, researchers explored the TREM2 receptor found on microglial cells and its potential role in reducing amyloid beta buildup. The protein binds to the receptor and triggers a chain reactions that signals immune cells to break it up, “possibly slowing Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis” explains the lead researcher, Professor Hauxi Xu. A second study found that increasing TREM2 in mice makes the microglia more responsive and stopped the disease from advancing. Professor Xu believes that “going after microglia, rather than amyloid beta generation, may be a new research avenue for Alzheimer’s disease.” Caution is advised as over activation of microglial cells may cause increased cytokines and cause inflammation that damages synaptic junctions.
SOURCE: Medical News Today, March 7, 2018; https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321147.php
AUTHOR: Ana Sandoiu
DATE Retrieved: March 8, 2018