DNA Vaccine Reduces Alzheimer Symptoms in Mice

Amyloidβ deposits reduced after both prophylactic and therapeutic treatment

WEDNESDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have developed a non-viral, DNA-based vaccine that reduces the symptoms of Alzheimer disease in mice without apparent side effects, according to a report published online June 12 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Yoh Matsumoto, M.D., of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute for Neuroscience in Japan, and colleagues developed a vaccine using sequences from the amyloidβ (Aβ) protein that are overproduced and deposited as plaques in Alzheimer disease patients.

In an animal model of Alzheimer disease, prophylactic vaccination reduced Aβ deposition to 15.5 percent and 38.5 percent of that of untreated mice at ages 7 and 18 months, respectively. Using a therapeutic vaccine protocol, in which the vaccine was introduced after Aβ deposition began, reduced deposits in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus by 40 percent to 50 percent. No side effects, such as neuroinflammation or T-cell responses to Aβ, were noted.

"We demonstrated that nonviral Aβ DNA vaccines are highly effective and safe in reducing the Aβ burden in model mice and, thus, are promising as a vaccine therapy against human Alzheimer's disease," the authors conclude.

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