Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 73, Issue 22, pp 4279–4297 | Cite as

One protein, multiple pathologies: multifaceted involvement of amyloid β in neurodegenerative disorders of the brain and retina

  • Vivek Gupta
  • Veer B. Gupta
  • Nitin Chitranshi
  • Sumudu Gangoda
  • Roshana Vander Wall
  • Mojdeh Abbasi
  • Mojtaba Golzan
  • Yogita Dheer
  • Tejal Shah
  • Alberto Avolio
  • Roger Chung
  • Ralph Martins
  • Stuart Graham


Accumulation of amyloid β (Aβ) and its aggregates in the ageing central nervous system is regarded synonymous to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology. Despite unquestionable advances in mechanistic and diagnostic aspects of the disease understanding, the primary cause of Aβ accumulation as well as its in vivo roles remains elusive; nonetheless, the majority of the efforts to address pathological mechanisms for therapeutic development are focused towards moderating Aβ accumulation in the brain. More recently, Aβ deposition has been identified in the eye and is linked with distinct age-related diseases including age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma as well as AD. Awareness of the Aβ accumulation in these markedly different degenerative disorders has led to an increasing body of work exploring overlapping mechanisms, a prospective biomarker role for Aβ and the potential to use retina as a model for brain related neurodegenerative disorders. Here, we present an integrated view of current understanding of the retinal Aβ deposition discussing the accumulation mechanisms, anticipated impacts and outlining ameliorative approaches that can be extrapolated to the retina for potential therapeutic benefits. Further longitudinal investigations in humans and animal models will determine retinal Aβ association as a potential pathognomonic, diagnostic or prognostic biomarker.


Neurotrophic factors Mitochondrial impairment Protein aggregation Inflammation Oxidative stress Electroretinogram Optical coherence tomography Metal ions Vascular dysfunction 



Alzheimer’s disease


Age-related macular degeneration

Amyloid beta


Retinal ganglion cell


Amyloid precursor protein


Retinal nerve fibre layer


Pattern electroretinogram


Visual evoked potential


Optical coherence tomography


Retinal pigment epithelium


Bruch’s membrane


Intra ocular pressure


Brain derived neurotrophic factor


Ciliary neurotrophic factor


Glial derived neurotrophic factor


Activity regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein


β Secretase


Angiotensin converting enzyme


Advanced glycation end product


Vascular endothelial growth factor


Inner nuclear layer


Reactive oxygen species


Optic nerve head


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


Hormone replacement therapy


Luteinizing hormone


Gonadotrophin releasing hormone


Superoxide dismutase



We acknowledge research funding from the NHMRC, ORIA, MQRDG and Hillcrest foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivek Gupta
    • 1
  • Veer B. Gupta
    • 2
  • Nitin Chitranshi
    • 1
  • Sumudu Gangoda
    • 1
  • Roshana Vander Wall
    • 1
  • Mojdeh Abbasi
    • 1
  • Mojtaba Golzan
    • 1
  • Yogita Dheer
    • 1
  • Tejal Shah
    • 2
  • Alberto Avolio
    • 1
  • Roger Chung
    • 1
  • Ralph Martins
    • 2
  • Stuart Graham
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Medical SciencesEdith Cowan UniversityPerthAustralia
  3. 3.Save Sight InstituteSydney UniversitySydneyAustralia

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