Pathogenesis of Abeta Oligomers in Synaptic Failure

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Abstract

The soluble Abeta oligomers in brain are highly correlated with memory related synaptic dysfunctions in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, more recent studies implicate the involvement of Abeta dimers and trimers in memory related AD pathology. Apparently, Abeta oligomers can bind with cellular prion protein at the membrane receptors, forming annular amyloid pores and membrane ion channels to induce aberrant spine cytoskeletal changes. Hence synapse targeting of Abeta oligomers involves activation of many receptors such as N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA), nicotinic acetylcholine (nAChRs), p75 neurotrophin (p75NTR) following aberrant clustering of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR5) leading to neuronal loss and LTP failure. In particular, NMDA and AMPA receptor activation by soluble amyloid oligomers involves calcium mediated mitochondrial dysfunction, decreased Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) levels at the synapses accompanying dramatic loss of synaptic proteins such as postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95), dynamin-1 and synaptophysin. This kind of receptor-Abeta oligomer interaction might eventually affect the neuronal membrane integrity by altering dielectric barrier, various synaptic proteins, spine morphology and density and P/Q calcium currents that might provoke a cascade of events leading to neuronal loss and memory failure. In this review, we try to explain in detail the various possible mechanisms that connect Abeta oligomers with synapse damage and memory failure.

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