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The aggregation and accumulation of the microtubule-associated protein (Tau) is a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and many neurodegenerative diseases. Despite the poor correlation between neurofirillary tangles (NFTs) and disease progression, and evidence showing, that neuronal loss in AD actually precedes NFTs formation research until recently focused on them and other large meta-stable inclusions composed of aggregated hyperphosphorylated tau protein. Lately, the significance and toxicity of NFTs has been challenged and new aggregated tau entity has emerged as the true pathogenic species in tauopathies and a possible mediator of Aβ toxicity in AD. Tau intermediate aggregate (tau oligomers; aggregates of an intermediate that is between monomers and NFTs in size) can cause neurodegeneration and memory impairment in the absence of Aβ. This exciting body of evidence includes results from human brain samples, transgenic mouse and cell-based studies. Despite extensive efforts to develop a safe and efficacious vaccine for AD using Aβ peptide as an immunogen in active vaccination approaches or anti Aβ antibodies for passive vaccination, success has been modest. Nonetheless, these studies have produced a wealth of fundamental knowledge that has potential to application to the development of a tau-based immunotherapy. Herein, I discuss the evidence supporting the critical role of tau oligomers in AD, the potential and challenges for targeting them by immunotherapy as a novel approach for AD treatment.
George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Department of Neurology. University of Texas Medical Branch; Galveston, TX.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Human vaccines
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Protection from an infectious disease agent that is mediated by B- and T- LYMPHOCYTES following exposure to specific antigen, and characterized by IMMUNOLOGIC MEMORY. It can result from either previous infection with that agent or vaccination (IMMUNITY, ACTIVE), or transfer of antibody or lymphocytes from an immune donor (IMMUNIZATION, PASSIVE).
Abnormal structures located chiefly in distal dendrites and, along with NEUROFIBRILLARY TANGLES and SENILE PLAQUES, constitute the three morphological hallmarks of ALZHEIMER DISEASE. Neuropil threads are made up of straight and paired helical filaments which consist of abnormally phosphorylated microtubule-associated tau proteins. It has been suggested that the threads have a major role in the cognitive impairment seen in Alzheimer disease.
Vaccines or candidate vaccines used to prevent or treat ALZHEIMER DISEASE.
Manipulation of the host's immune system in treatment of disease. It includes both active and passive immunization as well as immunosuppressive therapy to prevent graft rejection.
Resistance to a disease agent resulting from the production of specific antibodies by the host, either after exposure to the disease or after vaccination.
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A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins or one ...