Familial Alzheimer’s disease transferred via bone marrow transplant in mice | News

Familial Alzheimer’s disease can be transferred via bone marrow transplant, researchers show March 28 in the journal Stem Cell Reports. When the team transplanted bone marrow stem cells from mice carrying a hereditary version of Alzheimer’s disease into normal lab mice, the recipients developed Alzheimer’s disease — and at an accelerated rate.

The study highlights the role of amyloid that originates outside of the brain in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, which changes the paradigm of Alzheimer’s from being a disease that is exclusively produced in the brain to a more systemic disease. Based on their findings, the researchers say that donors of blood, tissue, organ, and stem cells should be screened for Alzheimer’s disease to prevent its inadvertent transfer during blood product transfusions and cellular therapies.

“This supports the idea that Alzheimer’s is a systemic disease where amyloids that are expressed outside of the brain contribute to central nervous system pathology,” says senior author and immunologist Wilfred Jefferies, of the University of British Columbia. “As we continue to explore this mechanism, Alzheimer’s disease may be the tip of the iceberg and we need to have far better controls and screening of the donors used in blood, organ and tissue transplants as well as in the transfers of human derived stem cells or blood products.”

To test whether a peripheral source of amyloid could contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s in the brain, the researchers transplanted bone marrow containing stem cells from mice carrying a familial version of the disease — a variant of the human amyloid…

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