. Amyloid-beta as a positive endogenous regulator of release probability at hippocampal synapses. Nat Neurosci. 2009 Dec;12(12):1567-76. PubMed.

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  1. This is quite an interesting paper. Abramov and colleagues carefully investigated the role of Aβ in presynaptic function, and found that Aβ works as a positive regulator of transmitter release. This is the first report on a physiological role of Aβ as far as I know. Because increased Aβ enhances basal transmitter release, GABA signals may be increased in APP Tg mice to keep a balance between excitation and inhibition of neurons as Mucke reported (see Palop et al., 2007).

    In their figure 7d, Abramov and colleagues showed that presynaptic facilitation by bursts was diminished by both increased and reduced levels of Aβ. Thus, an appropriate level of Aβ may be required for maintaining healthy synaptic activity. This result may explain why Aβ immunization does not clearly halt a progression of dementia.

    I would like to hear Dr. Mucke's opinion.

    References:

    . Aberrant excitatory neuronal activity and compensatory remodeling of inhibitory hippocampal circuits in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. Neuron. 2007 Sep 6;55(5):697-711. PubMed.