Press Release

HKBU scientists develop versatile compound for treating Alzheimer's disease

2022.8.24

Professor Li Min, Professor of the Teaching and Research Division and Associate Dean of the School of Chinese Medicine (middle); Professor Ricky Wong Man-shing, Professor of the Department of Chemistry of the Faculty of Science (left); and Dr Iyaswamy Ashok, Research Assistant Professor of the Teaching and Research Division of the School of Chinese Medicine at HKBU (right), found that the compound F-SLOH has promising theragnostic potential for treating Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage

The study conducted by Professor Li Min (left), Professor Ricky Wong Man-shing (right) and Dr Iyaswamy Ashok (middle) provides the first in vivo evidence that F-SLOH is an effective agent that can target and treat multiple neurodegenerative changes in an AD mouse model.


A study led by researchers from Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) has demonstrated that a multifunctional organic compound named F-SLOH has the potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at an early stage. The team found that it can inhibit the aggregation of amyloid-beta (Aβ), and reduce the hyperphosphorylation of tau proteins and neuroinflammation in the brain to improve the pathological features of AD. The findings have been published in the international academic journal Redox Biology.

 

AD is the most common cause of dementia. It accounts for nearly 65% of dementia cases in elderly Hong Kong Chinese. It is pathologically characterised by the abnormal aggregation of Aβ, the hyperphosphorylation of tau proteins and neuroinflammation in the nerve cells in the brain, which cause progressive neuronal loss and cognitive impairment. Currently there is no cure for AD, and the available medicines can only relieve its symptoms. Inhibiting the abnormal aggregation of Aβ and the hyperphosphorylation of tau proteins is considered the primary and a promising therapeutic approach to treat AD.

 

F-SLOH as theragnostic agent for AD

In the search for novel therapeutic and diagnostic methods for AD, a research team comprising Professor Li Min, Professor of the Teaching and Research Division and Associate Dean of the School of Chinese Medicine; Professor Ricky Wong Man-shing, Professor of the Department of Chemistry of the Faculty of Science; and Dr Iyaswamy Ashok, Research Assistant Professor of the Teaching and Research Division of the School of Chinese Medicine at HKBU, demonstrated the in vivo therapeutic efficacy of a compound called F-SLOH in reducing the abnormal aggregation of Aβ, the hyperphosphorylation of tau proteins and neuroinflammation in the nerves cells in the brain, thereby improving the learning and memory functions of mice with AD.

 

F-SLOH is a multi-functional cyanine probe synthesised by a team led by Professor Ricky Wong Man-shing for the detection of biological materials such as proteins and peptides. Its features include real-time visualisation of Aβ aggregation in brains, excellent permeability across the blood-brain barrier and low bio-toxicity. Previous studies showed that F-SLOH could inhibit the abnormal aggregation of Aβ species and provide neuroprotection against neurotoxicity induced by the abnormal aggregation of Aβ in vitro at the cellular level.

 

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