Search the NIGMS Image and Video
It's probably most people's least favorite activity, but we still need to do it--take out our trash. Otherwise our homes will get cluttered and smelly, and eventually, we'll get sick. The same is true for our cells: garbage disposal is an ongoing and essential activity, and our cells have a dedicated waste-management system that helps keep them clean and neat. One major waste-removal agent in the cell is the lysosome. Lysosomes are small structures, called organelles, and help the body to dispose of proteins and other molecules that have become damaged or worn out.This image shows a massive accumulation of lysosomes (visualized with LAMP1 immunofluorescence, in purple) within nerve cells that surround amyloid plaques (visualized with beta-amyloid immunofluorescence, in light blue) in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Scientists have linked accumulation of lysosomes around amyloid plaques to impaired waste disposal in nerve cells, ultimately resulting in cell death.
Swetha Gowrishankar and Shawn Ferguson, Yale School of Medicine
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