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Indian J Med Res. 2008 Oct;128(4):545-56.

Molecular toxicity of aluminium in relation to neurodegeneration.

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Department of Biochemistry & Nutrition, Central Food Technological Research Institute, CSIR, Mysore, India.


Exposure to high levels of aluminium (Al) leads to neurofibrillary degeneration and that Al concentration is increased in degenerating neurons in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Nevertheless, the role of Al in AD remains controversial and there is little proof directly interlinking Al to AD. The major problem in understanding Al toxicity is the complex Al speciation chemistry in biological systems. A new dimension is provided to show that Al-maltolate treated aged rabbits can be used as a suitable animal model for understanding the pathology in AD. The intracisternal injection of Al-maltolate into aged New Zealand white rabbits results in pathology that mimics several of the neuropathological, biochemical and behavioural changes as observed in AD. The neurodegenerative effects include the formation of intraneuronal neurofilamentous aggregates that are tau positive, oxidative stress and apoptosis. The present review discusses the role of Al and use of Al-treated aged rabbit as a suitable animal model to understand AD pathogenesis.

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