NEURODEGENERATION

Alzheimer's disease in a dish?

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Science  27 Jul 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6400, pp. 376-377
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6400.376-e

Alzheimer's disease is characterized by extracellular deposits of β-amyloid (Aβ) and intracellular aggregation of hyperphosphorylated tau in the brain. These lead to the hyperactivation of glial cells in the brain and neuronal loss. However, it has been difficult to serially link this series of pathological events. Park et al. developed a three-dimensional triculture system composed of human-derived neurons, astrocytes, and microglia. The model demonstrated hallmark features of Alzheimer's disease and Aβ aggregation, phospho-tau accumulation, and neuroinflammation. The ability to see ongoing microglia recruitment in the microfluidic platform and consequent neurotoxicity bodes well for the utility of this type of approach as a platform for dissecting pathomechanisms and preliminary testing of potential therapeutics.

Nat. Neurosci. 21, 941 (2018).

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