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Alzheimer's disease (AD)

Nuclear factor of activated T cells cytoplasmic calcineurin-dependent (NFATc); calcineurin

Mouse studies suggest astrocyte-specific delivery of the synthetic peptide VIVIT could help to treat AD. An adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector containing an astrocyte-specific promoter was used to express VIVIT, which inhibits the NFATc and calcineurin signaling pathway. In a mouse model of AD, hippocampal injection of the vector during early stages of disease progression led to astrocyte-specific expression of VIVIT and increased cognitive and synaptic function compared with vehicle. Next steps include testing the VIVIT-expressing vector in mice with late-stage AD and in an aging canine model of AD.

SciBX 5(46); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1212
Published online Nov. 29, 2012

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Furman, J.L. et al. J. Neurosci.; published online Nov. 14, 2012;
Contact: Christopher M. Norris, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Ky.