Skip to content

Dysfunctional precursor protein impairs making of new neurons in brain.

Amyloid precursor protein (APP) modulates the many processes through which newborn neurons are generated in the adult brain, state researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in a new study. An important component of the proper formation of these neurons are the GABAergic interneurons, which maintain a state of homeostasis between excitation and inhibition.

When new neurons are generated from neural stem cells, they are first produced as precursor cells and then differentiate into neurons and other types of brain cells.  After the cells differentiate, they need to incorporate into the brain and existing networks of brain cells. Without functioning APP, the neurons do not form the proper morphology and cannot integrate into the existing networks. They die after they are generated.

To study the issue the team used a mouse model that allowed them to knock out APP in different kinds of neurons.

There were three possibilities for the researchers,  APP could be expressed within the new neurons or within the excitatory neurons or within inhibitory neurons.  When they inhibited APP in the three populations of neurons, they found that GABAergic interneurons modulate the neurogenesis or production of new neurons.

Inhibitory neurons play as important a role as excitatory neurons, although the latter are far more numerous.  Therefore, formation of new neurons or neurogenesis in adults decreases with age. This helps us understand why age is such a critical factor when speaking about Alzheimer’s disease.

Source:  Baylor College of Medicine

APP as a gene regulator.  The intracellular domain of APP can translocate into the nucleus upon secretase cleavage and activate transcription of target genes.  Credit:  University of Zurich.
APP as a gene regulator. The intracellular domain of APP can translocate into the nucleus upon secretase cleavage and activate transcription of target genes. Credit: University of Zurich.

Healthinnovations View All

Michelle Petersen is the founder of Healthinnovations, having worked in the health and science industry for over 21 years, which includes tenure within the NHS and Oxford University. Healthinnovations is a publication that has reported on, influenced, and researched current and future innovations in health for the past decade.

Michelle has been picked up as an expert writer for Informa publisher’s Clinical Trials community, as well as being listed as a blog source by the world’s leading medical journals, including the acclaimed Nature-Springer journal series.

Healthinnovations is currently indexed by the trusted Altmetric and PlumX metrics systems, respectively, as a blog source for published research globally. Healthinnovations is also featured in the world-renowned BioPortfolio,, the life science, pharmaceutical and healthcare portal.

Most recently the Texas A&M University covered The Top 10 Healthinnovations series on their site with distinguished Professor Stephen Maren calling the inclusion of himself and his team on the list a reflection of “the hard work and dedication of my students and trainees”.

Michelle Petersen’s copy was used in the highly successful marketing campaign for the mega-hit film ‘Jumanji: The Next Level, starring Jack Black, Karen Gilian, Kevin Hart and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Michelle Petersen’s copywriting was part of the film’s coverage by the Republic TV network. Republic TV is the most-watched English language TV channel in India since its inception in 2017.

An avid campaigner in the fight against child sex abuse and trafficking, Michelle is a passionate humanist striving for a better quality of life for all humans by helping to provide traction for new technologies and techniques within healthcare.

One thought on “Dysfunctional precursor protein impairs making of new neurons in brain. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.