A compound developed by Alexander Tallent and Lindsay Weinberg at the University of Toronto has keyed in during medical therapies for Alzheimers disease (AD) prevent this recurring devastating and possibly fatal brain disease.

Tallent and Weinberg first discovered and characterized the interaction between a dramatically modified APOE 4 protein and neuroinflammation and found it was only present in Alzheimers disease (AD). Now they have turned their attention to a novel snag: that A-pos APOE 4 is known to protect against AD but the molecular mechanism by which it does so is unclear.

Science has been trying to understand the molecular workings of the androsiloryl transferase (ANS) protein-;the molecular fat-sticker protein that binds inflammation-causing chemicals-;an important protein necessary for the survival of cells-;since the 1950s.

Wefilm explicitly identified A-pos APOE 4 as a protective agent against AD and were excited to find that the compound increases inflammation in mice models and causes brain pathology in human-transplanted mice lacking A-pos APOE 4 genes said Tallent professor of cellular and integrative physiology at U of T and vice-president of the Arts in Life Sciences Healthy Aging Research Centres program at U of T. These effects mimicked up to the point that we saw striking similarities to those seen in Alzheimers disease.

The researchers tested the safety anti-inflammatory action and activity of the compound in both mouse models and human neurological cells. It did not show significant toxicity compared with standard treatment to mimic AD according to the U of T study. Furthermore the mice showed no neurodegenerative changes and function recovery.

An advantage of this new study is the small numbers of underlying AD patients subjected to normal therapies to determine whether APOE 4 is protective against AD. In such patients the agents are the protein breakdown product 3 (PUR-3) and splicing block-1 (SCB-1).

This project provides us with the essential information needed to develop breakthroughs in the detection of microvascular pathologies and for innovative translational strategies to treat AD says Weinberg.

We envision that this novel compound can be translated into new approaches for the detection of AD and two even more promising aspects as it expands investigations into specific pathways in the brain added Tallent.