Thursday, 14th December 2017

Molecular Neuropathology

Adult neurogenesis and Alzheimer disease






María Llorens-Martín









Research summary:

Alzheimer disease (AD) is characterized by a general loss of neural plasticity. In this regard, one of most affected areas is the hippocampus. This brain region plays a crucial role in learning and memory. Furthermore, a unique feature of this structure is the existence of adult neurogenesis. The process of adult hippocampal neurogenesis encompasses the birth and functional integration of newborn neurons throughout lifetime. This process confers and extraordinary high level of plasticity to the hippocampus. Thus, numerous strategies aim to potentiate the functionality of these newborn neurons and to counteract the loss of neural plasticity are being currently developed. We aim to understand the cellular mechanisms driving the impairment in the functional integration of newborn neurons that takes place in the brain of AD patients by using several animal models of the disease. Moreover, we are trying to find neuroprotective strategies that may prevent and/or slow down the advance of this devastating disease. This project has been funded by the Alzheimer´s Association (2015-NIRG-340709).



In this picture, two newborn granule neurons are shown. In red, it can be visualized the green fluorescent protein (GFP) labeling the whole dendritic structure of the newborn granule neurons. In green, the postsynaptic densities of these newborn granule neurons can be observed.