Role of Alzheimer’s β-Amyloid on Wnt Signaling
Pp. 103-113 (11)
Nibaldo C. Inestrosa, Catalina Grabowski, Macarena Arrazola, Lorena Varela-Nallar and Enrique M. Toledo
Recent evidence supports a neuroprotective role for Wnt signaling in neurodegenerative
disorders such as Alzheimer´s Disease. In fact, a relationship between amyloid-β-peptide induced
neurotoxicity and a decrease in the cytoplasmic levels of β-catenin has been observed. Apparently,
Aβ binds to the extracellular cysteine-rich domain of the Frizzled receptor inhibiting Wnt/β-catenin
signaling. These studies indicate that a sustained loss of Wnt signaling function may be involved in
the Aβ-dependent neurodegeneration observed in Alzheimer’s brain. So far, we have demonstrated
that activation of Wnt signaling protects neurons against neurotoxic injuries, including both amyloid-β
fibrils and Aβ oligomers by using either lithium, an inhibitor of the glycogen synthase kinase 3β, or
different Wnt ligands. In particular, the activation of non-canonical Wnt signaling was able to protect
postsynaptic regions and dendritic spines against Aβ oligomers. In conclusion, the activation of the
Wnt signaling pathway could be proposed as a therapeutic target for the treatment of AD.
Centro de Envejecimiento y Regeneracion (CARE), Centro de Regulacion Celular y Patologia “Joaquin V. Luco” (CRCP), MIFAB, Facultad de Ciencias Biologicas, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Alameda 340, Santiago, Chile.