Sunday, February 5, 2012

Case Western's Gary Landreth explores bexarotene as a pontential Alzheimer therapeutic

Gary Landreth, PhD
Dr. Mark Cohen tells me that a guy worth watching on the Alzheimer research front it Dr. Gary Landreth from Case Western Reserve University. And, as anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, when Mark Cohen talks, I listen. According to the Alzheimer Research Forum (from which I am blatantly plagarizing in the remainder of this post),  Landreth works on ApoE-directed therapeutics. As one of the genes involved in cholesterol homeostasis, ApoE is regulated transcriptionally by receptors which form heterodimers with the retinoid X receptor (RXR). Working with APP transgenic mice, Landreth found that an RXR agonist, bexarotene, induces brain ApoE quickly and robustly. This induction precedes a rapid decline in brain amyloid, an increase in plaque-clearing microglia, and improvements in cognitive performance. Landreth noted that bexarotene is an FDA-approved chemotherapeutic that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and has minimal side effects, most of which are associated with its action on lipid homeostasis. Hence, this drug minimally represents a test of the role of Aβ in AD and, maximally, may represent an AD therapeutic. These finding raise the question of the utility of the drug in ApoE4-positive individuals. You go, Gary!

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Brain Pathology's “Under your Microscope” Now Underway

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