, Volume 41, Issue 2-3, pp 138-148
Date: 01 May 2010

Membrane Biophysics and Mechanics in Alzheimer's Disease

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Alzheimer's disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder characterized by neuronal loss, cerebrovascular inflammation, and accumulation of senile plaques in the brain parenchyma and cerebral blood vessels. Amyloid-β peptide (Aβ), a major component of senile plaques, has been shown to exert multiple toxic effects to neurons, astrocytes, glial cells, and brain endothelium. Oligomeric Aβ can disturb the structure and function of cell membranes and alter membrane mechanical properties, such as membrane fluidity and molecular order. Much of these effects are attributed to their capability to trigger oxidative stress and inflammation. In this review, we discuss the effects of Aβ on neuronal cells, astrocytes, and cerebral endothelial cells with special emphasis on cell membrane properties and cell functions.
Xiaoguang Yang and Sholpan Askarova contributed equally to the work.