Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have demonstrated that a protein called caspase-2 is a key regulator of a signaling pathway that leads to cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease.
The leftmost image – WT (wildtype), or normal, mice – shows normal branching of neuronal dendrites. The mice with Alzheimer’s disease (J20) show significant dendritic loss. When caspase-2 was deleted from mice with Alzheimer’s (J20/Casp2KO), dendritic branching was normal–demonstrating that removal of caspase-2 can protect neurons in the presence of amyloid beta.
Image credit: Julio Pozueta