Intravenous immunoglobulin and Alzheimer's disease immunotherapy

Curr Opin Mol Ther. 2007 Feb;9(1):79-85.


Amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) contributes to the acute progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and has become the main target for therapeutics. Active immunization with Abeta in individuals with AD has been efficacious; however, some patients developed side effects, possibly related to an autoimmune response. Evidence that intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), an FDA-approved purified immunoglobulin fraction from normal human donor blood, shows promise of passive immunotherapy for AD is reviewed. Investigations into the molecular effects of IVIg on Abeta clearance, using the BV-2 cellular microglia line, demonstrate that IVIg dissolves Abeta fibrils in vitro, increases cellular tolerance to Abeta, enhances microglial migration toward Abeta deposits, and mediates phagocytosis of Abeta. Preliminary clinical results indicate that IVIg, which contains natural antibodies against the Abeta, warrants further study into its potential to deliver a controlled immune attack on the peptide, avoiding the immune toxicities that have had a negative impact on the first clinical trials of vaccine against Abeta.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / immunology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy*
  • Alzheimer Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Alzheimer Vaccines / immunology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / immunology
  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / immunology*
  • Immunotherapy*


  • Alzheimer Vaccines
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous