Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

T Cells Implicated in Alzheimer's Disease-Related Neurodegeneration

Microglia work in conjunction with T cells to induce the neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to new research published this week in Nature. The finding points to a potential new therapeutic approach for treating the condition. Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, have been widely studied in AD and research shows that they activate and proliferate around the accumulating amyloid plaques characterizing the disease. The role of other immune cells in AD, however, is poorly understood. In the new study, a team led by scientists from Washington University School of Medicine analyzed immune cells in the brains of mouse models of different stages of AD. They found that in the later stages of AD, microglia attract and activate T cells in the brain and that together these immune cells create an inflammatory environment where neurodegeneration can occur. Blocking the T cells, meanwhile, suppressed inflammation and neuronal damage in the animals. "Mapping the disease-state-specific interlink between microglia and T cells, including their signaling communications, presented antigens and pathophysiological responses, will be a key nexus to set up unique therapeutic interventions to prevent or reverse brain atrophy and neurodegeneration" in AD and related conditions, the study's authors write.