Immunotherapy for Alzheimer's disease

Weihua Wang, Liangfeng Fan, De'en Xu, Zhongmin Wen, Rong Yu, Quanhong Ma
Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica 2012, 44 (10): 807-14
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques consisted primarily of aggregated Aβ proteins and neurofibrillary tangles formed by hyperphosphorylated tau protein. Both Aβ and hyperphosphorylated tau are toxic both in vivo and in vitro. Immunotherapy targeting Aβ seems to provide a promising approach to reduce the toxic species in the brain. However, there is little evidence from clinical trials so far indicating the efficacy of Aβ immunotherapy in cognitive improvement. Immunization with tau peptides or anti-tau antibodies could remove the tau aggregates and improve the cognitive function in preclinical study, which provides a novel strategy of AD therapy. In this article, we will summarize the immunotherapeutic strategies targeting either Aβ or tau.

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