Novel leptin-based therapeutic strategies to limit synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Accumulation of hyper-phosphorylated tau and amyloid beta (Aβ) are key pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Increasing evidence indicates that in the early pre-clinical stages of AD, phosphorylation and build up of tau drives impairments in hippocampal excitatory synaptic function, which ultimately leads to cognitive deficits. Consequently, limiting tau-related synaptic abnormalities may have beneficial effects in AD. There is now significant evidence that the hippocampus is an important brain target for the endocrine hormone leptin and that leptin has procognitive properties, as activation of synaptic leptin receptors markedly influences higher cognitive processes including learning and memory. Clinical studies have identified a link between the circulating leptin levels and the risk of AD, such that AD risk is elevated when leptin levels fall outwith the physiological range. This has fuelled interest in targeting the leptin system therapeutically. Accumulating evidence supports this possibility, as numerous studies have shown that leptin has protective effects in a variety of models of AD. Recent findings have demonstrated that leptin has beneficial effects in the preclinical stages of AD, as leptin prevents the early synaptic impairments driven by tau protein and amyloid β. Here we review recent findings that implicate the leptin system as a potential novel therapeutic target in AD.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2024

    Keywords

    • leptin
    • tau
    • hippocampus
    • synaptic plasticity
    • receptor trafficking
    • AMPA

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