Ageing brain mechanisms
N euroinflammation and Late Onset Depression
Inflammatory processes have been identified as one of the major triggers for depression in recent years. For example patients treated with cytokines like interferon alpha or beta have an extremely high chance of developing a major depression but also ageing people have a high risk of suffering from depression. Here we investigate potential molecular and cellular mechanisms how depression can be induced by cytokines in models ranging from enzymatic pathways such as indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), cell culture assays and animal experiments including behavioural testing and positron emission tomography (PET). In addition to our preclinical studies, we also investigate in the link between depression and inflammatory responses by analysing blood and CSF biomarkers as well as PET and behavioural analyses.
Collaborations of the department of Molecular Neurobiology with the departments of Psychiatry, Clinical Chemistry, Nuclear Medicine (Prof. Dr. R. A. Schoevers, Dr. Hans Klein, Prof. Dr. R.C. Oude Voshaar, Prof. I. Kema, Prof. R.A. Dierckx, UMCG and Dr. P. Mommersteeg, Tilburg)
Memory deficits in early aging: emphasis on episodic and episodic-like memory
Episodic memory, the memory of what-where-when, is one of the most vulnerable types of memory in the aging process. We use a time-place learning paradigm for mice to study neurobiological, molecular and genetic aspects of episodic-like memory. Middle-aged mice are no longer capable of mastering this task, except if they were trained to do so lifelong. Time-of-day information had to be learned each time from scratch as it is not stably stored in memory, in contrast to procedural aspects of time-place learning. This enables the analysis and comparison of weak and strong memory traces and the impact of aging on both of them.
Collaboration of the department of Molecular Neurobiology with the department of Chronobiology.
Neuroprotective Signalling mechanisms
Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF) is a major and important factor involved in various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson, stroke or Multiple Sclerosis. Depending which type of TNF receptor gets activated TNF can induce neuroprotective or rather neurodegenerative signals. Here we investigate these mechanisms with respect to various neurodegenerative conditions and investigate possibilities and mechanisms to exploit these functions for the development of new medications against neurodegenerative diseases.
Collaboration of the department of Molecular Neurobiology with the Universities of Twente (Dr. K. Broersen), Stuttgart (Prof. Dr. K. Pfizenmaier), Würzburg (Prof. Dr. H. Wajant) and Heidelberg (Prof. Dr. R. Diem).
|Laatst gewijzigd:||01 april 2015 14:03|