Transforming Growth Factor Beta Type I Role in Neurodegeneration: Implications for Alzheimer´s Disease

Curr Protein Pept Sci. 2018;19(12):1180-1188. doi: 10.2174/1389203719666171129094937.


Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative condition affecting millions of people worldwide. Alzheimer's symptoms include memory loss and cognitive decline. Pathologically, the hallmarks of Alzheimer´s are the presence of Amyloid beta-plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and neuronal loss. Unfortunately, no cure is presently available and current treatments are only symptomatic. Transforming growth factor beta type I (TGF-β1) is a trophic factor involved in neuronal development and synaptic plasticity. Impairment of TGF-β1 signaling is associated with exacerbated Aβ deposition and neurofibrillary tangle formation, which increases neurodegeneration. Aging and chronic inflammation reduce the canonical TGF-β1/Smad signaling, facilitating cytotoxic activation of microglia and microgliamediated neurodegeneration This review gathers together evidence for a neuroprotective role of TGF-β in Alzheimer's disease. Restoring TGF-β1 signaling impairment may be a new pharmacological strategy Alzheimer's treatment.

Keywords: Alzheimer´s disease; Smad signaling; Transforming growth factor-β1; amyloid-beta; microglia; neuroinflammation; neuroprotection; oligomers..

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Neurogenic Inflammation / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Receptor, Transforming Growth Factor-beta Type II / genetics
  • Receptor, Transforming Growth Factor-beta Type II / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / metabolism*


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Receptor, Transforming Growth Factor-beta Type II