Cholesterol Homeostasis Failure in the Brain: Implications for Synaptic Dysfunction and Cognitive Decline
Marco Segatto, Loris Leboffe, Laura Trapani and Valentina Pallottini
Affiliation: Department of Science, University Roma Tre, Viale G. Marconi, 446, I-00146 Roma, Italy.
Keywords: Brain, cholesterol, cognitive decline, memory, neurodegeneration, synapse.
Cholesterol is one of the most important molecules in cell physiology because of its involvement in several biological
processes: for instance, it determines both physical and biochemical properties of cell membranes and proteins.
Disruption to cholesterol homeostasis leads to coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis and metabolic syndrome. Strong
evidence suggests that cholesterol also has a crucial role in the brain as various neurological and neurodegenerative disorders,
including Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson diseases are associated with disruptions to cholesterol homeostasis.
Here, we summarize the current knowledge about the role cholesterol plays at synaptic junctions and the pathological
consequences caused by disruptions in the homeostatic maintenance of this compound.
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