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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Modulation of glial activation in animal models of Alzheimer's disease Seminar

13:00 - 14:00
6 December 2013
SGH IDS Lecture Theatre

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Kim Lipscombe on 02380 597747 or email .

Event details

Magdalena is interested in the molecular mechanism by which inflammation affects neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer’s disease. Her scientific contributions include the study of the intracellular signalling cascade of the amyloid precursor protein and how it affects its cleavage and the formation of amyloid-β peptide. In addition, she has focused her research in the use of anti-inflammatory drugs as potential therapy for neurodegenerative diseases, particularly in the role of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) agonists.

The main pathological hallmarks of AD include the presence of neuritic plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, synaptic loss and ultimately, neuronal death. Neuroinflammation in AD is characterized by an inflammatory response to Amyloid-β (Aβ), inducing the activation of microglia and the recruitment of astrocytes to the sites where Aβ deposits occur. At present, it is still unclear whether inflammation is cause or consequence of disease progression. However, there are evidences that suggest that it increases Aβ generation, tau phosphorylation and cognitive impairment. On the other hand, glial activation may delay the progression of AD by contributing to the clearance of Aβ, since they phagocyte Aβ and release enzymes responsible for Aβ degradation. Glial cells also secrete growth factors and anti-inflammatory cytokines, which are neuroprotective. Therefore, it is critical to understand the state of activation of glial cells in different AD stages to be able to determine the effect of potential anti-inflammatory therapies.

Speaker information

Dr Magdalena Sastre, Imperial College. Department of Medicine

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