OHSU

The OHSU School of Medicine Dean's Fund award funds a collaborative effort

The OHSU School of Medicine Dean's Fund award funds a collaborative effort involving four principal investigators from different departments.

Joe Quinn, M.D.
Neurology

Randy Woljter, M.D.
Pathology

Doris  Kretzschmar, Ph.D.
Genetics and the CROET

Phillip Copenhaver, Ph.D.
Cell and Developmental Biology

For this project, we integrated our different  model systems of Alzheimer's disease (AD) into a ‘translational suite' for  testing candidate drugs that might be beneficial to patients suffering from AD,  with the goal of establishing a new resource that could be used by other  investigators with interests in drug development for AD. The Dean's Fund  project was primarily meant to serve as a ‘proof of principle', but in the  course of conducting our experiments, we also successfully screened a panel of  clinically approved dihydropyridine compounds (currently used to treat  hypertension) as candidate drugs for ameliorating amyloid-related  neurotoxicity.

As described in our paper referenced above,  all four of our assays identified isradipine as a promising drug that  could be ‘re-purposed' for treating patients in the early stages of AD (mild  cognitive impairment). Our next step is to advance our analysis of isradipine  into more extensive tests in AD mouse models and potentially into clinical  trials. In addition, this new translational suite of bioassays can be of  benefit to other investigators who wish to test candidate compounds that might  be useful in the treatment of AD.