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Vicario-Orri E, Opazo CM, Muñoz FJ

The pathophysiology of axonal transport in Alzheimer's disease.

J. Alzheimers Dis.. 2015;43(4):1097-113, PMID: 25147115

Neurons communicate in the nervous system by carrying out information along the length of their axons to finally transmit it at the synapse. Proper function of axons and axon terminals relies on the transport of proteins, organelles, vesicles, and other elements from the site of synthesis in the cell body. Conversely, neurotrophins secreted from axonal targets and other components at nerve terminals need to travel toward the cell body for clearance. Molecular motors, namely kinesins and dyneins, are responsible for the movement of these elements along cytoskeletal tracks. Given the challenging structure of neurons, axonal transport machinery plays a crucial role in maintaining neuronal viability and function, allowing the proper neurotransmitter release at the presynaptic ending. On this basis, failure of axonal transport has been proposed as a key player in the development and/or progression of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Increasing evidence suggests that amyloid-β peptide, a hallmark of AD, may disrupt axonal transport and in so doing, contribute to AD pathophysiology. Here we discuss the molecular mechanisms of axonal transport with specific emphasis on the possible relationship between defective axonal transport and AD.


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Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional IMIM - Parc de Salut Mar