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Biogenic metallic elements in the human brain?

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf6707 DOI Help

Authors: James Everett (Keele University; University of Warwick) , Frederik Lermyte (University of Warwick; Technical University of Darmstadt) , Jake Brooks (University of Warwick) , Vindy Tjendana-Tjhin (University of Warwick) , Germán Plascencia-Villa (The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA)) , Ian Hands-Portman (University of Warwick) , Jane M. Donnelly (University of Warwick) , Kharmen Billimoria (University of Warwick; LGC Ltd) , George Perry (The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA)) , Xiongwei Zhu (Western Reserve University) , Peter J. Sadler (University of Warwick) , Peter B. O'Connor (University of Warwick) , Joanna F. Collingwood (University of Warwick) , Neil D. Telling (Keele University)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Science Advances , VOL 7

State: Published (Approved)
Published: June 2021
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 15854

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: The chemistry of copper and iron plays a critical role in normal brain function. A variety of enzymes and proteins containing positively charged Cu+, Cu2+, Fe2+, and Fe3+ control key processes, catalyzing oxidative metabolism and neurotransmitter and neuropeptide production. Here, we report the discovery of elemental (zero–oxidation state) metallic Cu0 accompanying ferromagnetic elemental Fe0 in the human brain. These nanoscale biometal deposits were identified within amyloid plaque cores isolated from Alzheimer’s disease subjects, using synchrotron x-ray spectromicroscopy. The surfaces of nanodeposits of metallic copper and iron are highly reactive, with distinctly different chemical and magnetic properties from their predominant oxide counterparts. The discovery of metals in their elemental form in the brain raises new questions regarding their generation and their role in neurochemistry, neurobiology, and the etiology of neurodegenerative disease.

Diamond Keywords: Alzheimer's Disease

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials, Chemistry

Instruments: I08-Scanning X-ray Microscopy beamline (SXM)

Other Facilities: 11.0.2 at Advanced Light Source

Added On: 11/06/2021 13:55


Discipline Tags:

Neurodegenerative Diseases Non-Communicable Diseases Health & Wellbeing Biochemistry Neurology Chemistry Life Sciences & Biotech

Technical Tags:

Microscopy X-ray Microscopy Scanning X-ray Microscopy