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.
- NMDA receptor
- calcium homeostasis
- synaptic dysfunction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism