As the population ages, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) are becoming a significant burden on patients, their families, and health-care systems. Neurodegenerative processes may start up to 15 years before outward signs and symptoms of AD, as evidenced by data from AD patients and mouse models. A major genetic risk factor for late-onset AD is the ɛ4 isoform of apolipoprotein E (ApoE4), which is present in almost 20% of the population. In this review we discuss the contribution of ApoE receptor signaling to the function of each component of the tripartite synapse - the axon terminal, the postsynaptic dendritic spine, and the astrocyte - and examine how these systems fail in the context of ApoE4 and AD.
Keywords: LRP; NMDA receptor; Reelin.; calcium homeostasis; dendrite; endosome; synaptic dysfunction.
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