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      A systemic view of Alzheimer disease — insights from amyloid-β metabolism beyond the brain

      , , ,
      Nature Reviews Neurology
      Springer Nature

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          Abstract

          Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, and is currently incurable; existing treatments for AD produce only a modest amelioration of symptoms. Research into this disease has conventionally focused on the CNS. However, several peripheral and systemic abnormalities are now understood to be linked to AD, and our understanding of how these alterations contribute to AD is becoming more clearly defined. This Review focuses on amyloid-β (Aβ), a major hallmark of AD. We review emerging findings of associations between systemic abnormalities and Aβ metabolism, and describe how these associations might interact with or reflect on the central pathways of Aβ production and clearance. On the basis of these findings, we propose that these abnormal systemic changes might not only develop secondary to brain dysfunction but might also affect AD progression, suggesting that the interactions between the brain and the periphery have a crucial role in the development and progression of AD. Such a systemic view of the molecular pathogenesis of AD could provide a novel perspective for understanding this disease and present new opportunities for its early diagnosis and treatment.

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          Most cited references105

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          RAGE mediates amyloid-beta peptide transport across the blood-brain barrier and accumulation in brain.

          Amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) interacts with the vasculature to influence Abeta levels in the brain and cerebral blood flow, providing a means of amplifying the Abeta-induced cellular stress underlying neuronal dysfunction and dementia. Systemic Abeta infusion and studies in genetically manipulated mice show that Abeta interaction with receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE)-bearing cells in the vessel wall results in transport of Abeta across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and expression of proinflammatory cytokines and endothelin-1 (ET-1), the latter mediating Abeta-induced vasoconstriction. Inhibition of RAGE-ligand interaction suppresses accumulation of Abeta in brain parenchyma in a mouse transgenic model. These findings suggest that vascular RAGE is a target for inhibiting pathogenic consequences of Abeta-vascular interactions, including development of cerebral amyloidosis.
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            Young blood reverses age-related impairments in cognitive function and synaptic plasticity in mice.

            As human lifespan increases, a greater fraction of the population is suffering from age-related cognitive impairments, making it important to elucidate a means to combat the effects of aging. Here we report that exposure of an aged animal to young blood can counteract and reverse pre-existing effects of brain aging at the molecular, structural, functional and cognitive level. Genome-wide microarray analysis of heterochronic parabionts--in which circulatory systems of young and aged animals are connected--identified synaptic plasticity-related transcriptional changes in the hippocampus of aged mice. Dendritic spine density of mature neurons increased and synaptic plasticity improved in the hippocampus of aged heterochronic parabionts. At the cognitive level, systemic administration of young blood plasma into aged mice improved age-related cognitive impairments in both contextual fear conditioning and spatial learning and memory. Structural and cognitive enhancements elicited by exposure to young blood are mediated, in part, by activation of the cyclic AMP response element binding protein (Creb) in the aged hippocampus. Our data indicate that exposure of aged mice to young blood late in life is capable of rejuvenating synaptic plasticity and improving cognitive function.
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              Regulation of innate immune responses in the brain.

              Microglial cells are the main innate immune cells of the complex cellular structure of the brain. These cells respond quickly to pathogens and injury, accumulate in regions of degeneration and produce a wide variety of pro-inflammatory molecules. These observations have resulted in active debate regarding the exact role of microglial cells in the brain and whether they have beneficial or detrimental functions. Careful targeting of these cells could have therapeutic benefits for several types of trauma and disease specific to the central nervous system. This Review discusses the molecular details underlying the innate immune response in the brain during infection, injury and disease.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Neurology
                Nat Rev Neurol
                Springer Nature
                1759-4758
                1759-4766
                September 29 2017
                September 29 2017
                : 13
                : 10
                : 612-623
                Article
                10.1038/nrneurol.2017.111
                28960209
                ed2f7120-d38b-42fb-98a6-f97b60f86a92
                © 2017
                History

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