Dysregulation of neuronal differentiation and cell cycle control in Alzheimer’s disease

  • T. Arendt
Part of the Journal of Neural Transmission. Supplementa book series (NEURAL SUPPL, volume 62)


Degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease primarily occurs in those neurons that in the adult brain retain, a high degree of structural plasti-city and, is associated with the activation of mitogenic signaling and cell cycle activation. Brain areas affected by neurofibrillary degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease are structures involved in the regulation of “higher brain functions” that become increasingly predominant as the evolutionary process of encephalization progresses. The functions these areas subserve require a life-long adaptive reorganization of neuronal connectivity. With the increas-ing need during evolution to organize brain structures of increasing complex-ity, these processes of dynamic stabilization and de-stabilization become more and more important but might also provide the basis for an increasing rate of failure. The hypothesis is put forward that it is the labile state of differentia-tion of a subset of neurons in the adult brain that allows for ongoing morphoregulatory processes after development is completed but at the same time renders these neurons particularly vulnerable. Interferring with neuronal differentiation control might, thus, be a potential strategy to prevent neurode-generation in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.


Mitogenic Signaling Mitogen Activate Protein Kinase Kinase Differentiate PC12 Cell Neurofibrillary Degeneration High Brain Function 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Arendt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neuroanatomy, Paul Flechsig Institute for Brain ResearchUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigFederal Republic of Germany

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