Brain Metabolism of Hibernating Hamsters May Reveal Novel Therapeutic Targets for Alzheimer’s Disease

Brain Metabolism of Hibernating Hamsters May Reveal Novel Therapeutic Targets for Alzheimer’s Disease
Upon hibernation, the brains of Syrian hamsters undergo metabolic changes that involve the phosphorylation of tau protein — a hallmark of Alzheimers' disease. However, this process is rapidly reversed upon waking and understanding it could lead to the development of new therapies for Alzheimer's, a study suggests. The study, “Metabolomic Study of Hibernating Syrian Hamster Brains: In Search of Neuroprotective Agents,” was published in the Journal of Proteome Research. Syrian hamsters, golden-haired rodents often kept as house pets, can undergo periods of hibernation of three to four days, interspersed with short periods of activity. During hibernation, these animals' brains go through changes, at the structural and metabolic levels, to help neurons survive during low temperatures. Specifically, during hibernation the protein tau undergoes a chemical modification, called phosphorylation, in which a phosphate group is added to the protein. Hyperphosphorylation of the tau protein results in the formation of intracellular tangles whose buildup in nerve cells is known to drive the progression of Alzheimer’s. In these hibernating animals, however, phosphorylated tau and its tangles are rapidly and totally reversed as soon as the animals wake up. Researchers at the Centre for Metabolomics and Bioanalysis, Uni
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *