Trending With Impact: Researchers Use C. Elegans in Model of Human Tauopathy



November 17, 2021

Aging-US published this trending priority research paper selected as the cover for Volume 13, Issue 21 on November 9, 2021, entitled, “Alteration of mitochondrial homeostasis is an early event in a C. elegans model of human tauopathy” by researchers from the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Physiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece; DNA Repair Section, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD. Abstract Tauopathies are a group of progressive neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the presence of insoluble intracellular tau filaments in the brain. Evidence suggests that there is a tight connection between mitochondrial dysfunction and tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease. However, whether mitochondrial dysfunction occurs prior to the detection of tau aggregates in tauopathies remains elusive. Here, we utilized transgenic nematodes expressing the full length of wild type tau in neuronal cells and monitored mitochondrial morphology alterations over time. Although tau-expressing nematodes did not accumulate detectable levels of tau aggregates during larval stages, they displayed increased mitochondrial damage and locomotion defects compared to the control worms. Chelating calcium restored mitochondrial activity and improved motility in the tau-expressing larvae suggesting a link between mitochondrial damage, calcium homeostasis and neuronal impairment in these animals. Our findings suggest that defective mitochondrial function is an early pathogenic event of tauopathies, taking place before tau aggregation and undermining neuronal homeostasis and organismal fitness. Understanding the molecular mechanisms causing mitochondrial dysfunction early in tauopathy will be of significant clinical and therapeutic value and merits further investigation. Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article - DOI - Full Text - Correspondence to: Konstantinos Palikaras email:, Mansour Akbari email: and Vilhelm A. Bohr email: Keywords: aging, Alzheimer’s disease, C. elegans, energy metabolism, mitochondria, tau, tauopathy About Aging-US Launched in 2009, Aging-US publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging-US go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways. Please visit our website at​​ or connect with us on: SoundCloud -​ Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - YouTube -​ LinkedIn -​ Pinterest - Aging-US is published by Impact Journals, LLC please visit​​ or connect with @ImpactJrnls Media Contact 18009220957 MEDIA@IMPACTJOURNALS.COM

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