The Role of Astrocyte-Secreted Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2 (IGFBP2) in the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease

2021

Identifying new targets to slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an urgent need. Our approach to this is to ask whether non-neuronal cells in the brain, called astrocytes, are contributing to the progression of AD by negatively impacting the neurons they interact with. We identified that in AD, astrocytes upregulate production of a protein called IGFBP2. This protein has also been shown to be increased in patients with AD, as well as other brain disorders, linking it to brain pathology. The role of IGFBP2 is to inhibit growth factor signaling, suggesting its upregulation will have a negative impact on cells in the brain, including neurons. In this project, we ask whether blocking the actions of IGFBP2 is beneficial in AD, examining this in patient samples and mouse models. The outcomes of these experiments will determine whether IGFBP2, a candidate biomarker for cognitive decline and AD, is contributing to AD pathogenesis.


Funding to Date

$172,500

Focus

Studies of Innate Immune Pathology, Translational

Researchers

Nicola Allen, Ph.D.