The neurotoxicity of amyloid-beta protein (Abeta) is widely regarded as one of the fundamental causes of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD). This toxicity is related to Abeta aggregation into oligomers, protofibrils and fibrils. Recent studies suggest that intracellular Abeta, which causes profound toxicity, could be one of the primary therapeutic targets in AD. So far, no compounds targeting intracellular Abeta have been identified. We have investigated the toxicity induced by intracellular Abeta in a neuroblastoma MC65 line and found that it was closely related to intracellular accumulation of oligomeric complexes of Abeta (Abeta-OCs). We further identified a cell-permeable tricyclic pyrone named CP2 that ameliorates this toxicity and significantly reduces the levels of Abeta-OCs. In aqueous solution, CP2 attenuates Abeta oligomerization and prevents the oligomer-induced death of primary cortical neurons. CP2 analogs represent a new class of promising compounds for the amelioration of Abeta toxicities within both intracellular and extracellular sites.