Anti-TNF vs Alzheimer's mouse model

An experimental anti-inflammatory drug has positive effects on neuron function and amyloid plaques in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, Emory neuroscientists report. The findings are published in the journal Neurobiology of Disease.

Inflammation’s presence in Alzheimer’s is well established, but it is usually thought of as an accelerator, rather than an initiating cause. While everybody argues about the amyloid hypothesis, there’s a case to be made for intervening against the inflammation. Exactly how is an open question.

The drug tested, called XPro1595, targets the inflammatory signaling molecule tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Senior author Malu Tansey and her colleagues say that interfering with TNF could have direct effects on neurons, as well as indirect effects on the immune cells infiltrating the brain. Dr. Tansey is a faculty member in the IMP and NS programs.

The first author of the Neurobiology of Disease paper is Neuroscience graduate student Kathryn MacPherson. Tansey says her lab is now examining interactions with high-fat/fructose diet and hypertension in the Alzheimer’s model. She and her colleagues previously showed that XPro1595 can also prevent neuron loss in a rat model of Parkinson’s.

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