Dr. Karen Zoufal | 21/09/2021
Cholesterol-related genes have long been known to have an effect on the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The researchers were able to shed some light on this connection: Cholesterol produced in the brain could play a key role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, according to the journal PNAS.
U.S. researchers found that certain brain cells (astrocytes) promote the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by producing more cholesterol. This increases beta amyloid production and encourages plaque formation. In animal experiments with mice, it was possible to reduce the production of cholesterol from astrocytes and therefore the formation of plaques. New discoveries help to understand how and why plaques are formed. The observation may also explain why cholesterol-related genes have an impact on Alzheimer’s risk.
“Our data show the importance of focusing on the production of cholesterol in astrocytes and transport to neurons in order to reduce beta-amyloid and prevent plaque formation. If we can find strategies to prevent astrocytes from producing too much cholesterol, we could have a real impact on the development of Alzheimer’s disease, ”said Dr. Heather A. Ferris of the University of Virginia.
What: DOI 10.1073 / pnas.2102191118