|Astrocytes as New Therapeutic Targets in Alzheimer’s Disease
This study by Jennifer Furman and Christopher Norris and colleagues at the University of Kentucky reports that inhibiting astrocytic activation in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) might be an alternative therapeutic approach for attenuating Aβ-induced pathology. This work confirms, once again, that astrocytes play an important role in the progression of the disease, significantly exacerbating amyloid pathology as well as synaptic and cognitive deficits. It also emphasizes the primary function of the calcineurin/NFAT pathway in astrocyte activation and raises the potential use of VIVIT, a specific inhibitor of NFAT activation, in blocking this pathway. Along with our previous data showing that VIVIT reduces Aβ toxicity when directed specifically to neurons (1), these results will hopefully provide clues that will further therapies targeting Aβ activation of calcineurin (CN).
Using a gene transfer approach to overexpress VIVIT specifically in astrocytes, Furman et al. showed that inhibiting the...