Use Of Neurotrophins On The Function Of The Neuron Signalling Essay

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Within nerve cells there are proteins called neurotrophins. They play a role in development and in the function of neuron signalling. Nerve Growth Factor (NGf) is a neurotrophin that stimulates division and development of sympathetic and embryonic sensory neurons. Without it functioning effectively neuron signalling is reduced. A 2010 study conducted on the brains of lab rats (Durson et al 2011) indicated that Vitamin D has the potential to upregulate VDR expression and nerve growth factor (NGF), thus reducing cell apoptosis and increasing nerve cell signalling. This mechanism indicates that VD may have cognitive enhancing effects as well as AD preventative effects.
Vitamin D and Animal Studies
In 2011 researchers, having grown an understanding of the mechanisms of AD development in humans, wanted to see if genetically modified mice with the ABPP gene could develop plaques in the brain similarly to aging human brains. 35% of transgenic mice died before 6 months and high levels of AB were found in the brains of these mice upon dissection. The transgenic mice who remained alive had increased levels of AB in the brain and increased biomarkers of DNA oxidative damage. When compared with wild mice the transgenic mice showed significantly higher memory deficits after behavioural testing (Xiong et al 2011). This indicates that when genetically modified to increase AB plaque formation, transgenic mouse models could be used in preliminary study of VD3 on AB accumulation.

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