Evidence for participation of aluminum in neurofibrillary tangle formation and growth in Alzheimer's disease

J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;22(1):65-72. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-100486.


This study examines hippocampal CA1 cells from brains of aged humans, with and without Alzheimer's disease, for hyperphosphorylated tau and aluminum during early neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) formation and growth. A very small proportion of hippocampal pyramidal cells contain cytoplasmic pools within their soma that either appear homogeneous or contain short filaments (i.e., early NFTs). The cytoplasmic pools are aggregates of an aluminum/hyperphosphorylated tau complex similar to that found in mature NFTs. The photographic evidence presented combines with existing evidence to support a role for aluminum in the formation and growth of NFTs in neurons of humans with Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aluminum / adverse effects
  • Aluminum / metabolism
  • Aluminum / physiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • CA1 Region, Hippocampal / chemistry
  • CA1 Region, Hippocampal / metabolism
  • CA1 Region, Hippocampal / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / chemistry
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / metabolism*
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / pathology*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Binding / physiology
  • tau Proteins / adverse effects
  • tau Proteins / metabolism


  • tau Proteins
  • Aluminum