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Lausanne, Switzerland

Theunis C.,Catholic University of Leuven | Crespo-Biel N.,Catholic University of Leuven | Gafner V.,ACImmune | Pihlgren M.,ACImmune | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Progressive aggregation of protein Tau into oligomers and fibrils correlates with cognitive decline and synaptic dysfunction, leading to neurodegeneration in vulnerable brain regions in Alzheimer's disease. The unmet need of effective therapy for Alzheimer's disease, combined with problematic pharmacological approaches, led the field to explore immunotherapy, first against amyloid peptides and recently against protein Tau. Here we adapted the liposome-based amyloid vaccine that proved safe and efficacious, and incorporated a synthetic phosphorylated peptide to mimic the important phospho-epitope of protein Tau at residues pS396/pS404. We demonstrate that the liposome-based vaccine elicited, rapidly and robustly, specific antisera in wild-type mice and in Tau.P301L mice. Long-term vaccination proved to be safe, because it improved the clinical condition and reduced indices of tauopathy in the brain of the Tau.P301L mice, while no signs of neuroinflammation or other adverse neurological effects were observed. The data corroborate the hypothesis that liposomes carrying phosphorylated peptides of protein Tau have considerable potential as safe and effective treatment against tauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease. © 2013 Theunis et al.

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