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Neural Regen Res. 2019 Dec;14(12):2035-2042. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.262571.

Physiological and pathological effects of amyloid-β species in neural stem cell biology.

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Unidad de Regeneración Neural, Unidad Funcional de Investigación de Enfermedades Crónicas. Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.


Although amyloid-β peptide is considered neurotoxic, it may mediate several physiological processes during embryonic development and in the adult brain. The pathological function of amyloid-β peptide has been extensively studied due to its implication in Alzheimer's disease, but its physiological function remains poorly understood. Amyloid-β peptide can be detected in non-aggregated (monomeric) and aggregated (oligomeric and fibrillary) forms. Each form has different cytotoxic and/or physiological properties, so amyloid-β peptide and its role in Alzheimer's disease need to be studied further. Neural stem cells and neural precursor cells are good tools for the study on neurodegenerative diseases and can provide future therapeutic applications in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. In this review, we provide an outline of the effects of amyloid-β peptide, in monomeric and aggregated forms, on the biology of neural stem cells/neural precursor cells, and discuss the controversies. We also describe the possible molecular targets that could be implicated in these effects, especially GSK3β. A better understanding of amyloid-β peptide (both physiological and pathological), and the signaling pathways involved are essential to advance the field of Alzheimer's disease.


Alzheimer's disease; Aβneural stem cells; GSK3β; amyloid precursor protein; amyloid-βpeptide; gliogenesis; neural progenitor cells; neurogenesis; toxicity


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