follow us on twitter: @GoAfricaNetwork
Tracy Hampton, PhD
September 1, 2015
Treating mice with an antibody against the cis form of phosphorylated tau protein (cis P-tau) can prevent some of the pathological changes that occur after traumatic brain injury (TBI), researchers report (Kondo A et al. Nature. doi:10.1038/nature14658 [published online July 15, 2015]).
Investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and their colleagues modeled sport- and military-related TBI in mice by exposing them to impact or blast injury. After TBI was induced in mice, the researchers observed robust and persistent elevations in cis P-tau, which caused injury to axons and disrupted axonal mitochondria and microtubule scaffolding. Subsequently, cis P-tau spread in the brain over time, leading to massive apoptotic cell death. The findings add to the investigators’ previous research showing that cis P-tau has an early pathological role in Alzheimer disease (Nakamura K et al. Cell. 2012;149:232-244) and suggest that “cistauosis” may be a common early disease mechanism in TBI, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and Alzheimer disease.
Treatment with the cis antibody blocked the spread of cis P-tau in mice and reversed many TBI-related structural and functional effects within the brain, as well as behavioral aspects of the condition. Further development of the antibody may lead to improved treatment outcomes for TBI.