Oxidation and Zinc In Models of Alzheimer's Disease

Ashley Bush, MD, PhD Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria

Project Details

Metal ions play important roles in many biological processes and high concentrations of copper, zinc, and iron are found in the beta-amyloid (Ab) plaques characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Bush has hypothesized that these metal ions may help hold the Ab subunits together as insoluble aggregates. In addition, Dr. Bush and his colleagues have also recently found that copper and iron ions cause the production of harmful hydrogen peroxide and reactive oxygen species from the Ab subunits, and this may contribute to neurotoxicity. The research team is now using a transgenic mouse model to examine whether zinc may be involved in hydrogen peroxide production and if zinc is abnormally distributed in the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Using the same model, he will determine if the Ab deposits are assembled by zinc and whether they can be resolubilized by zinc chelators.