Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 725–730

Wnt/β-catenin and its Diverse Physiological Cell Signaling Pathways in Neurodegenerative and Neuropsychiatric Disorders


DOI: 10.1007/s11481-012-9412-x

Cite this article as:
Al-Harthi, L. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol (2012) 7: 725. doi:10.1007/s11481-012-9412-x

Wnt signaling is a fundamental pathway in embryogenesis which is evolutionary conserved from metazoans to humans. Much of our understanding of Wnt signaling events emerged from key developmental studies in drosophila, zebra fish, xenopus, and mice. Considerable data now exists on the role of Wnt signaling beyond these developmental processes and in particular its role in health and disease. The focus of this special issue is on Wnt/β-catenin and its diverse physiological cell signaling pathways in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. This special issue is composed of six reviews and two original articles selected to highlight recent advances in the role of Wnt signaling in CNS embryonic development, in adult brain function, in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, NeuroAIDS, and in gliomas. The finding that β-catenin can translocate to the nucleus where it binds to TCF/LEF transcription factors to regulate target gene expression was a seminal observation that linked β-catenin/LEF to T cell development and differentiation. We also provide a nostalgic look on recent advances in role of Wnts in T cell development and maturation. These reviews highlight the extensive body of work in these thematic areas as well as identify knowledge gaps, where appropriate. Understanding Wnt function under healthy and diseased conditions may provide a therapeutic resource, albeit it a challenging one, in diseases where dysfunctional and/or diminished Wnt signaling is a prominent player in the disease process.


Wnt signalingβ-cateninNeurodegenerative diseasesT cell differentationNeuroAIDS

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Immunology and MicrobiologyRush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA