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Synaptogenesis to prevent glioblastoma-induced neurodegeneration

Irene Argudo, Mario Fernández, Alberto Ferrús y Sergio Casas-Tintó. Cajal Institute (CSIC). Avda Doctor Arce 37. 28002 Madrid. Spain.


Glial cells support neurons for maintenance while actively participate in synaptic transmission. Gliomas, cancers of glial cells, are characterized by highly aggressive growth and resistance to most chemotherapies, making them virtually incurable. Gliomas show severe metabolic dysfunction including an imbalance in the glucose and lipid metabolism associated with poor patient prognosis. Studies in neural cells have shown a clear relationship between metabolism and the number and activity of their synapses. In a glioma model in Drosophila we show that gliomas induce a loss of synapses in the neighboring neurons, one of the earliest features of neurodegenerative diseases. Also, we have studied the functional relationship between neuronal and glial metabolisms and their impact in synaptogenesis. Our results aim to unravel the mechanisms of synapse loss and neurodegeneration caused by the glioma and look for methods that prevent these processes. Based on the strategy of stimulating synaptogenesis, we hypothesize that it could represent a novel therapeutic treatment for these diseases.

Format: Oral communication

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