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Current Neuropharmacology

Editor-in-Chief

ISSN (Print): 1570-159X
ISSN (Online): 1875-6190

Role of Wnt Signaling in the Control of Adult Hippocampal Functioning in Health and Disease: Therapeutic Implications

Author(s): Abril Ortiz-Matamoros, Pamela Salcedo-Tello, Evangelina Avila-Munoz, Angélica Zepeda and Clorinda Arias

Volume 11 , Issue 5 , 2013

Page: [465 - 476] Pages: 12

DOI: 10.2174/1570159X11311050001

Price: $65

Abstract

It is well recognized the role of the Wnt pathway in many developmental processes such as neuronal maturation, migration, neuronal connectivity and synaptic formation. Growing evidence is also demonstrating its function in the mature brain where is associated with modulation of axonal remodeling, dendrite outgrowth, synaptic activity, neurogenesis and behavioral plasticity. Proteins involved in Wnt signaling have been found expressed in the adult hippocampus suggesting that Wnt pathway plays a role in the hippocampal function through life. Indeed, Wnt ligands act locally to regulate neurogenesis, neuronal cell shape and pre- and postsynaptic assembly, events that are thought to underlie changes in synaptic function associated with long-term potentiation and with cognitive tasks such as learning and memory. Recent data have demonstrated the increased expression of the Wnt antagonist Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) in brains of Alzheimer´s disease (AD) patients suggesting that dysfunction of Wnt signaling could also contribute to AD pathology. We review here evidence of Wnt-associated molecules expression linked to physiological and pathological hippocampal functioning in the adult brain. The basic aspects of Wnt-related mechanisms underlying hippocampal plasticity as well as evidence of how hippocampal dysfunction may rely on Wnt dysregulation is analyzed. This information would provide some clues about the possible therapeutic targets for developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases associated with aberrant brain plasticity.

Keywords: Alzheimer´s disease, Hippocampal plasticity, neurodegeneration, neurogenesis, neurorepair, Wnt signaling.


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