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Mech Ageing Dev. 2005 Oct;126(10):1019-25.

The cell cycle in Alzheimer disease: a unique target for neuropharmacology.

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Institute of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, 2085 Adelbert Road, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


Several hypotheses have been proposed attempting to explain the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease including, among others, theories involving amyloid deposition, tau phosphorylation, oxidative stress, metal ion dysregulation and inflammation. While there is strong evidence suggesting that each one of these proposed mechanisms contributes to disease pathogenesis, none of these mechanisms are able to account for all the physiological changes that occur during the course of the disease. For this reason, we and others have begun the search for a causative factor that predates known features found in Alzheimer disease, and that might therefore be a fundamental initiator of the pathophysiological cascade. We propose that the dysregulation of the cell cycle that occurs in neurons susceptible to degeneration in the hippocampus during Alzheimer disease is a potential causative factor that, together with oxidative stress, would initiate all known pathological events. Neuronal changes supporting alterations in cell cycle control in the etiology of Alzheimer disease include the ectopic expression of markers of the cell cycle, organelle kinesis and cytoskeletal alterations including tau phosphorylation. Such mitotic alterations are not only one of the earliest neuronal abnormalities in the disease, but as discussed herein, are also intimately linked to all of the other pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer disease including tau protein, amyloid beta protein precursor and oxidative stress, and even risk factors such as mutations in the presenilin genes. Therefore, therapeutic interventions targeted toward ameliorating mitotic changes would be predicted to have a profound and positive impact on Alzheimer disease progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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