Causal Link between Alzheimer’s Disease and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Identified Using 3D Human Tissue Models

May 19, 2020 | Biotechnology

Lab.Equipment has found a new article from the Biotech industry for you. This one is published by GEN – Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News:

Scientists and engineers at Tufts University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have used a 3D human tissue culture model of the brain to demonstrate a possible causal relationship between sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and infection with herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), the virus that causes cold sores.

The researchers say their bioengineered system will make it possible to look more closely at the pathogenic mechanisms of sporadic AD, and could ultimately lead to the development of better therapeutic strategies for treating the neurodegenerative disorder. “Our brain tissue model allowed us to take a closer look at the potential causal relationship between herpes and Alzheimer’s disease, and the results were intriguing,” said David Kaplan, PhD, Stern Family professor of engineering and chair of the department of biomedical engineering at Tufts’ School of Engineering. “After just three days of herpes infection, we saw large and dense plaque formations of beta amyloid protein, as well as increased expression of some of the enzymes responsible for generating the plaques. We observed neuron loss, neuroinflammation, and depressed signaling between neurons— everything we observe in patients. Never before have so many facets of the disease been replicated in vitro.”

Kaplan and colleagues reported their findings in Science Advances, in a paper titled, “A 3D human brain-like tissue model of herpes-induced Alzheimer’s disease.”

AD is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes severe cognitive decline as well as short-term memory loss, impaired speech, and ultimately an inability to function in day-to-day activities. There are nearly 5.8 million AD patients in the United States, where the condition is the sixth leading cause of death, the authors noted. In the absence of medical advances to cure or at least hal... Read the full article at the GEN – Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News Blog.

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