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Ageing Res Rev. 2012 Apr;11(2):189-98. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2011.12.004. Epub 2011 Dec 15.

Pentraxins and Alzheimer's disease: at the interface between biomarkers and pharmacological targets.

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Department of Drug Sciences, Section of Pharmacology, Laboratory of Neurobiology and Neuropharmacology of Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Nervous System, University of Pavia, Italy.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder involving deposition of misfolded proteins in vulnerable brain regions leading to inexorable and progressive neuronal loss and deterioration of cognitive functions. The AD brain displays features typical of chronic inflammation as defined by the presence of activated microglia and by an excessive amount of neuroinflammatory components such as cytokines and acute-phase proteins. This review aims to shed light on the role of the immune processes involved in AD, focusing on a family of inflammatory modulators belonging to the acute-phase proteins and crucial components of the humoral arm of innate immunity: pentraxins. In particular we analyze function of the pentraxins in AD, their upregulation in the brain and their contribution to neurodegeneration. Additionally, we highlight the role of pentraxins as putative AD biomarkers and as pharmacological therapeutic targets.

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