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Neurochem Int. 2001 Nov-Dec;39(5-6):393-400.

Functional role of TGF beta in Alzheimer's disease microvascular injury: lessons from transgenic mice.

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Department of Neurosciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0624, USA.


Recent studies have implicated pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines as integral to Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. Among them, transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is emerging as an important factor in regulating inflammatory responses. This multifunctional cytokine might be centrally involved in several aspects of AD pathogenesis by regulating beta-amyloid precursor protein synthesis and processing, plaque formation, astroglial and microglial response and neuronal cell death. Among all of these potential roles, studies in transgenic and infusion animal models have shown that TGF-beta may primarily contribute to AD pathogenesis by influencing A beta production and deposition, which in turn might result in damage to the brain microvasculature. The lessons learned from these models are of great interest not only for understanding of the role of TGF-beta in AD, but also for future treatments where testing of anti-inflammatory agents such as ibuprofen and an amyloid vaccine hold great promise. In this regard, further elucidation of the signal pathways by which TGF-beta exerts its effect in AD might lead to specific targets for further therapeutic intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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