Alzheimer’s Disease: Genes Modify Effect of High Fat Diet

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
The Jackson LaboratoryCatherine Kaczorowski, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Evnin Family Chair in Alzheimer’s Research
Kristen O’Connell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Amy Dunn, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate
The Jackson Laboratory


MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
 

Dr. Amy Dunn: “Alzheimer’s disease is complex, with both genetic and environmental factors determining symptom onset and disease progression, though our current understanding of how genetic and environmental factors interact to influence disease risk is incomplete. We recently developed a panel of genetically diverse mice carrying human familial AD mutations (AD-BXDs) that better model human AD in order to determine how genetics and diet interact to modify disease onset and severity.

We fed a high fat diet to AD-BXDs and monitored metabolic and cognitive function over the duration of the HFD feeding.  We observed accelerated working memory decline in most of the AD-BXD mouse strains, however, the impact of high fat diet on memory was dependent on individual genetic differences across the panel, with some AD-BXD strains maintaining cognitive function on high fat diet (resilient strains).

Our data suggest that diet and genetic background interact to mediate vulnerability to AD pathogenesis, and that metabolic factors (e.g. obesity, body composition) that may contribute to cognitive decline differentially in normal aging versus AD. “

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Obesity Regulating Protein May Prevent Weight Gain from High Fat Diet

Shanthi Srinivasan, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Digestive Diseases Department of Medicine Emory University Atlanta, GA 30322MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Shanthi Srinivasan, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of Digestive Diseases Department of Medicine
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322

 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Srinivasan: The main findings of this study are that the neurotrophic factor GDNF is was able to protect against the weight gain induced by mice on a high fat diet. The mice that had overexpression of GDNF showed less weight gain while eating the same high fat diet as the control mice. GDNF seems to have effects on the genes regulating fat metabolism and energy expenditure and this could be the mechanism of prevention of weight gain.
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