In a recent study published in the journal Behavioural Brain Research, researchers found that Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) can improve long-term memory in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.
Evidence has pointed to an important role of altered neurotrophic factor signaling in a wide array of neurodegenerative diseases. Most studied neurotrophic factors include brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), and more recently, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF). CDNF is a neuroprotective and neurotrophic protein developed by Herantis Pharma for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.
In order to investigate the potential therapeutic role of CDNF in AD using intrahippocampal protein and gene therapy in mice models of AD, in their study titled “Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor improves long-term memory in APP/PS1 transgenic mice modeling Alzheimer’s disease as well as in wild-type mice,” Susanna Kemppainen from the A.I. Virtanen Institute at the University of Eastern Finland along with colleagues found that Intrahippocampal CDNF protein or gene improved long-term memory in mice; that the CDNF did not influence short-term memory, spontaneous activity or object neophobia; and that the CDNF did not significantly affect brain amyloid load or adult neurogenesis.
“In this study, CDNF was shown to improve long-term memory in mice suffering from Alzheimer’s disease-like brain pathology and also in healthy mice,” explained Henri Huttunen, PhD, Herantis’ Chief Scientific Officer, in a recent news release. “These data suggest that the mechanism of action is more general rather than related to the amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s. We already know that CDNF protects cells from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The general positive effect on long-term memory consolidation was still beyond our expectations.”
“We are planning to file regulatory applications later this year for a clinical study of CDNF in Parkinson’s disease,” said Pekka Simula, CEO of Herantis. “We believe CDNF has huge potential addressing the unmet clinical needs of Parkinson’s. This exciting new finding suggests that CDNF’s potential may be even greater than expected. We will carefully assess possibilities of developing CDNF also in Alzheimer’s disease.”
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