Studies of AD like changes in response to cytomegalovirus infection




Davis, Delores
Hanson, Laura

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According to Alzheimer's Disease International 55 million people worldwide are living with dementia, predominantly Alzheimer's Disease (AD), and it is expected to rise to about 139 million by 2050. There is evidence that infections with herpesviruses, such as cytomegalovirus , increase the risk of developing AD. One fact associated with AD is alterations in the protein tau, which normally helps to stabilize cell microtubules. Our lab has found that infection in neuronal type cells leads to tau changes similar to seen in AD. We hypothesize that the changes in tau result in reduced stability in microtubules. We are infecting B35 rat neuroblastoma cells, and comparing the stability of microtubules, as well as tau localization at various times after treatment in uninfected and infected cells. To address these questions we are using cell fractionation and western blot analysis. Our preliminary results support a reduced stability of microtubules in virally infected cells. (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Laura Hanson)