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AbstractThe Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) is infamous for its proposed pivotal role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Much research on APP focusses on potential contributions to neurodegeneration, mostly based on mouse models with altered expression or mutated forms of APP. However, cumulative evidence from recent years indicates the indispensability of APP and its metabolites for normal brain physiology. APP contributes to the regulation of synaptic transmission, plasticity, and calcium homeostasis. It plays an important role during development and it exerts neuroprotective effects. Of particular importance is the soluble secreted fragment APPsα which mediates many of its physiological actions, often counteracting the effects of the small APP-derived peptide Aβ. Understanding the contribution of APP for normal functions of the nervous system is of high importance, both from a basic science perspective and also as a basis for generating new pathophysiological concepts and therapeutic approaches in AD. In this article, we review the physiological functions of APP and its metabolites, focusing on synaptic transmission, plasticity, calcium signaling, and neuronal network activity.
CitationNeuroscientist. 2019 Nov 29:1073858419882619. doi: 10.1177/1073858419882619.
AffiliationHZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany.
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