To view an abstract, select an author from the vertical list on the left.
2010 Grants - Zhu
In Vivo Study on Abnormal Mitochondrial Dynamics in Alzheimer Model
Xiongwei Zhu, Ph.D.
Case Western Reserve University
2010 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
Mitochondria are structures inside of cells that perform a number of important functions, most notably the formation of chemical energy used throughout the cell. In the nerve cells of persons with Alzheimer's disease, mitochondria are distributed in an abnormal manner, and mitochondrial function is deficient. The causes of these changes are not well understood.
Xiongwei Zhu, Ph.D., and colleagues are studying the molecular mechanisms that cause changes in mitochondria during the development of Alzheimer pathology. They have observed that overexpression of proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease reduced mitochondrial function and caused the mitochondria to divide abnormally. The researchers plan to extend their studies using cultured nerve cells from mice that have been genetically altered to express Alzheimer-like pathology. Dr. Zhu's team will use genetic techniques to block genes that control the division and fusion of mitochondria, and study how these changes affect the development of Alzheimer pathology. These studies will yield new information about the molecular mechanisms causing mitochondrial dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease.