New insights into how Huntington's disease attacks the brain

Scientific theory holds that Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by a mutant protein that arises within brain cells and kills them, triggering the genetic neurological disorder. Now a new UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute study reveals the first strong evidence that the mutant protein also elicits toxic interactions from neighboring cells to provoke the fatal brain disorder. The May 5 edition of Neuron reports the findings.

"This is really important because most current disease models and drug development efforts rely on the assumption that Huntington's disease arises from within the target brain cells," explained Dr. William Yang, assistant professor at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and a member of the Brain Research Institute.

"Our model is the first to show that mutant HD proteins exert their influence on brain cells located near the target cells," he said. "These neighboring cells then interact with the target cells to spark disease."

To pinpoint the disorder's cellular origin, UCLA researchers developed two sets of mice with the human HD gene mutation. The first group was engineered to trigger production of the mutant HD protein throughout the brain. The second set of mice produced the mutant HD protein only in the target brain cells.

The scientists reasoned that if the mutant protein triggered the disease only from within the target cells, the second set of mice would display significant signs of the disorder. If HD required toxic interactions among cells throughout the brain, however, these same mice would show little or no signs of the disorder.

When comparing the two groups, the UCLA team discovered that the first set of mice demonstrated problems with motor control and showed visible degeneration of the target brain cells. In contrast, the second set of mice showed little signs of the disease.

"This is the first direct genetic evidence to demonstrate that abnormal interactions between cells

Contact: Elaine Schmidt
University of California - Los Angeles

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Scientists gain important insights into acute promyelocytic leukemia
2. Variant CJD -- Prion amplification breakthrough brings new insights and hopes for a blood test
3. Largest synthetic gene ever built offers insights into anti-malarial drug resistance
4. New insights into the neural basis of anxiety
5. From ink to optics, study of particle mixtures yields fundamental insights
6. Understanding the global carbon budget -- Woods Hole Research Center expert provides insights
7. A rainbow of methods promises insights into biological processes and diseases
8. New imaging approach promises insights into multiple sclerosis
9. Mutant mouse provides insights into breast cancer
10. From hot springs to rice farms, scientists reveal new insights into the secret lives of archaea
11. Research yields new insights into the cause of diabetes

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/12/2015)... 2015  Arxspan has entered into an agreement ... for use of its ArxLab cloud-based suite of ... partnership will support the institute,s efforts to electronically ... information internally and with external collaborators. The ArxLab ... the Institute,s electronic laboratory notebook, compound and assay ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... , Nov. 09, 2015 ... addition of the "Global Law Enforcement ... offering. --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/52ggmn/global_law ) has ... Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report ... and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/52ggmn/global_law ) has announced ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  The J. Craig Venter Institute ... "DNA Synthesis and Biosecurity: Lessons Learned and Options for ... Health and Human Services guidance for synthetic biology providers ... --> --> Synthetic ... the potential to pose unique biosecurity threats. It now ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: ... 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 pre-share consolidation) Series ... Warrants") subject to the previously disclosed November 1, ... which will result in the issuance of 365,518 ... issuance of such shares, there will be approximately ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QC , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - ProMetic ... "Corporation") announced today that Mr. Pierre Laurin , President ... corporate presentation at the upcoming Piper Jaffray 27 th ... Palace Hotel, on December 1-2, 2015. st ... available for one-on-one meetings throughout the day. The presentation will ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Whitehouse Laboratories is pleased ... The new stand-alone facility will be strictly dedicated to basic USP 61, USP 62 ... clients the chance to have complete chemistry and micro testing performed by one supplier. ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... ... November 23, 2015 , ... ... the development of its Nexera UC Unified Chromatography system. The award from R&D ... significant new products of the year in the analytical and testing category. R&D ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: