Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Metabolomics & Lipidomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Mitochondrial Dysfunction Present Early in Alzheimer’s, Before Memory Loss

Published: Thursday, March 01, 2012
Last Updated: Thursday, March 01, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Using genetic mouse models, Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered that mitochondria in the brain are dysfunctional early in the disease.

Mitochondria — subunits inside cells that produce energy — have long been thought to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease.

The group looked at mitochondria in three mouse models, each using a different gene shown to cause familial, or early-onset, Alzheimer’s disease. The specific mitochondria changes corresponded with the mutation type and included altered mitochondrial movement, structure, and energy dynamics. The changes happened in the brain even before the mice showed any symptoms such as memory loss. The group also found that the mitochondrial changes contributed to the later loss of mitochondrial function and the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

“One of the most significant findings of this study is our discovery of the impact of mitochondrial dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease,” says Eugenia Trushina, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic pharmacologist and senior investigator on the study. “We are asking: Can we connect the degree of mitochondrial dysfunction with the progression of symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease?”

Enlisting the expertise of Mayo researcher Petras Dzeja, Ph.D., the team applied a relatively new method called metabolomics, which measures the chemical fingerprints of metabolic pathways in the cell — sugars, lipids, nucleotides, amino acids and fatty acids, for example. It assesses what is happening in the body at a given time and at a fine level of detail, giving scientists insight into the cellular processes that underlie a disease. In this case, the metabolomic profiles showed changes in metabolites related to mitochondrial function and energy metabolism, further confirming that altered mitochondrial energetics is at the root of the disease process.

The researchers hope that the panel of metabolomic biomarkers they discovered can eventually be used for early diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of Alzheimer’s progression.
“We expect to validate metabolomic changes in humans with Alzheimer’s disease and to use these biomarkers to diagnose the disease before symptoms appear — which is the ideal time to start treatment,” Dr. Trushina says.

The team looked at neurons of three different genetic animal models of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers applied a mitochondria-specific dye and observed their motion along axons, a process called axonal trafficking. They showed that even in embryonic neurons afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, well before the mice show any memory loss, mitochondrial axonal trafficking is inhibited. Using a panel of techniques that included electron and light microscopy, they determined that in the brains of mice with Alzheimer’s disease, mitochondria tended to lose their integrity, ultimately leading to the loss of function. Importantly, dysfunctional mitochondria were detected at the synapses of neurons involved in maintaining memory.

“We are not looking at the consequences of Alzheimer’s disease, but at very early events and molecular mechanisms that lead to the disease,” Dr. Trushina says. The next step is looking at the same mitochondrial biomarkers in humans, she says. As the researchers begin to understand more about the mitochondrial dynamics that are altered in Alzheimer’s disease, they hope to move on to designing drugs that can restore the abnormal bioenergetics and mitochondrial dynamics to treat the disease.

The findings appear in the journal PLoS ONE.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 4,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,300+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Mayo Clinic, UMMC Expand Relationship
Mayo Clinic and the University of Mississippi Medical Center have signed an agreement to broaden and deepen their collaboration in clinical trials, other medical research and education.
Monday, October 06, 2014
Mayo Clinic Receives Funding for Gut Function Biomarker Research
The program aims to identify and validate biomarkers that can assess gut function and guide new ways to improve the health and development of children in the developing world.
Friday, December 28, 2012
Mayo Clinic to Collaborate with Indian Science Leaders
The collaboration will cover areas such as drug, device and biomarker studies relating to heart disease, chemical biology, applied genomics and innovations in metabolomics.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Controlling iPS Cell Transformation: It’s in the Sugar
Researchers at Mayo Clinic show how cellular metabolism facilitates stem cell procurement from regular tissue.
Friday, September 02, 2011
Scientific News
Metabolite Promotes Cancer Cell Transformation
Researchers have identified a metabolite that promotes cancer cell transformation and colorectal cancer spread.
Gut Bacteria Affect Our Metabolism
Study confirms, mice that receive gut bacteria transplants from overweight humans gain more weight than mice transplanted with gut bacteria from normal weight subjects.
The Benefits of a Mediterranean-style Diet
A Western-style diet, with more omega-6 fatty acids than the Mediterranean, dysregulates lipid signaling in aged mice and promotes inflammation.
Gut Bacteria Control Glucose Metabolism
Researchers have uncovered a link between the immune system, gut bacteria and glucose metabolism.
Peer Review is in Crisis, But Should be Fixed, Not Abolished
After the time to get the science done, peer review has become the slowest step in the process of sharing studies, and some scientists have had enough.
Plants Modulate Metabolite Accumulation at Organ Level
Scientists develop computational metabolomic approach to measure metabolic diversity in different plant tissues.
Gut Microbiome Linked to Inflammatory Proteins
Study looking at influence of genetics, microbiome and environment on immune response links intestinal microbial population to production of inflammatory proteins.
How it Works: Advanced Data Analysis Using Visualization
Visualisation of data can be used to help molecular biologists tackle the vast datasets their experiments create.
Cell Metabolism Linked to Spread of Cancer
Scientists discover macrophage metabolism can be attuned to prevent the spread of cancer.
Integrated Omics Analysis
Studying multi-omics promises to give a more holistic picture of the organism and its place in its ecosystem, however despite the complexities involved those within the field are optimistic.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
4,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,300+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!