Monoamine oxidases (MAOs) are a family of flavin adenine dinucleotide-dependent enzymes that
have a crucial role in the metabolism of neurotransmitters of the central nervous system. Impaired function of
MAOs is associated with copious brain diseases. The alteration of monoamine metabolism is a characteristics
feature of aging. MAO plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a progressive neurodegenerative
disorder associated with an excessive accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide and neurofibrillary
tangles (NFTs). Activated MAO plays a critical role in the development of amyloid plaques from Aβ as
well as the formation of the NFTs. In the brain, MAO mediated metabolism of monoamines is the foremost
source of reactive oxygen species formation. The elevated level of MAO-B expression in astroglia has been reported
in the AD brains adjacent to amyloid plaques. Increased MAO-B activity in the cortical and hippocampal
regions is associated with AD. This review describes the pathogenic mechanism of MAOs in aging as well
as the development and propagation of Alzheimer’s pathology.
Keywords: MAO, amyloid β, tau, aging, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, Alzheimer's disease.
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