The scientists Eduardo Soriano and Lluís Pujadas, from the University of Barcelona (UB), and the “Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas” (CIBERNED) have led research into the role of reelin in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease.
Published today in the journal Nature Communications, the study demonstrates how an increase in the levels of reelin—a protein that is essential for cerebral cortex plasticity—has the capacity to restore cognitive capacity in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease, delaying amyloid-beta (Αβ) fibril formation in vitro and reducing the accumulation of amyloid deposits in the brains of animals affected by this disease.
The study, which was started four years ago, has involved the collaboration of members of the Peptides and Proteins lab at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), namely Bernat Serra-Vidal, PhD student, Ernest Giralt, group leader, and Natàlia Carulla, associate researcher whose investigation focuses on the aggregation of Αβ. Alzheimer’s disease, which affects approximately 500,000 people in Spain, is characterised by the loss of neural connections and by neuronal death, both associated mainly with the formation of senile plaques (extracellular deposits of Aβ) and the presence of neurofibrillary tangles (intracellular deposits of tau protein.
In the IRB lab, researchers have performed experiments in vitro to determine whether there is an interaction between Aβ aggregation and reelin. These assays have revealed that reelin interacts with the Aβ peptide, delaying the formation of Aβ fibrils until it is trapped within them. “When reelins becomes trapped in Aβ fibrils, it loses its capacity to strengthen synaptic plasticity. This explains why an increase in reelin expression in the brain may be beneficial,” explain the authors of the study.
The hypotheses from the work in vitro have been tested in vivo using experimental animals. This study is the first to demonstrate a neuroprotective effect of reelin in neurodegenerative disease and, in addition, offers a possible explanation for this protective role.
So I work at an ice cream store, and this girl walked in today and quietly asked me who the man behind the counter was. I responded that he was my manager.
"Oh, he’s cute. What’s his name?"
"Justin, but he plays for the, uh, other team."
And I swear to fucking god four people yelled ‘WILDCATS’ so loud she spilled her drink.
And I thought he was gay