In the journal Cell Stem Cell, a team of Rutgers researchers established an important mechanism associated with Alzheimer’s disease that may be a potential therapeutic target.
“In this study, we used our newly developed chimeric mouse brain model—where human cells are injected and allowed to grow, develop and mature with appropriate functions in a live mouse brain,” said one co-author of the study in a news release.
“This provided an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the role of human microglia in brains as well as the cognitive impairment seen in Alzheimer’s Disease and Down syndrome, a genetic disorder with a high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.”
In their study, researchers explained what occurred to specialized immune brain cells called microglia upon exposure to tau proteins, which are believed to be associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
From the findings: “Our findings provide in vivo evidence that human microglia respond to pathological tau by exhibiting dystrophic phenotypes. Targeting IFNARs may improve down syndrome microglial functions and prevent senescence.”