They are not the first scientists to propose the concept of a vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease. A collaboration between the UK and German scientists aims to create immunity to Alzheimer’s disease by injecting a free form of the amyloid protein responsible for senile plaques. Promising results have just been published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
The idea of developing a preventive treatment for Alzheimer’s disease has been floated in the scientific community for several years. Whether by targeting tau and β-amyloid proteins simultaneously or by boosting the brain’s immune system, researchers have tried several approaches that have yielded interesting basic results but have not yet led to significant progress in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
In the journal Molecular Psychiatry, a team of British and German researchers proposed a new candidate for a potential vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease. Trials in sick mice have shown promising results in reducing amyloid plaques, neuronal loss. In their study, the researchers did not attack the senile plaques that have already formed, but the soluble form of the proteins that make them up. Specifically, the untruncated forms of the β-amyloid protein β1-14.
New candidates for a vaccine against Alzheimer’s
At the end of it is a particular hairpin structure, which is the target of an antibody discovered before these experiments. Using crystallography, the researchers found that the antibody TAP01 binds to this hairpin protein.
The researchers wanted to find out whether the protein’s hairpin structure was able to elicit a protective immune response against various parameters of Alzheimer’s disease and compared its activity with that of the TAP01 antibody. Mice treated with the cyclic form of β1-14 had fewer senile plaques, but also an active glucose metabolism, a sign of good brain function, and much less neuronal and memory loss.
The researchers believe that β1-14 and the humanized form of TAP01 (which is a mouse antibody) are two interesting candidates for the development of a possible vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease.
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