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Protein Cell. 2015 Apr;6(4):254-64. doi: 10.1007/s13238-014-0131-3. Epub 2015 Feb 15.

Cholesterol metabolism and homeostasis in the brain.

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Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Disease, and School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, 230026, China.


Cholesterol is an essential component for neuronal physiology not only during development stage but also in the adult life. Cholesterol metabolism in brain is independent from that in peripheral tissues due to blood-brain barrier. The content of cholesterol in brain must be accurately maintained in order to keep brain function well. Defects in brain cholesterol metabolism has been shown to be implicated in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Huntington's disease (HD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and some cognitive deficits typical of the old age. The brain contains large amount of cholesterol, but the cholesterol metabolism and its complex homeostasis regulation are currently poorly understood. This review will seek to integrate current knowledge about the brain cholesterol metabolism with molecular mechanisms.

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