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Project title: Neurotrophin signal pathways in neurodegenerative diseases

Project leader: Tanja Brigadski, Christina Spilker, Daniel Bittner, Raik Rönicke




Although neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease exhibit different disease pattern, they are characterized by similar degenerative processes. A loss of neurotransmitter activity and subsequent decrease in the number of dendritic spines result in a loss of neuronal activity and in a degradation of specific neurons. A lack of neurotrophic factors like BDNF or NGF might correlate with the degradation of neuronal populations. Especially a deficit in the transport of neurotrophic factors, which lead to a reduced neurotrophic support of neuronal populations, might induce neurodegenerative processes. Therefore, we analyse with a multidisciplinary approach the different mechanism of neurotrophin transport and resultant deficits in BDNF signalling in M. Alzheimer and Chorea Huntington. Our work varies from molecular physiology of BDNF transport, dynamics of synaptic BDNF/TrkB receptor localization and BDNF dependent LTP in Alzheimer mouse models to investigation of BDNF metabolism in patients with neurodegenerative disease.

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