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REVIEW
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 1170-1174

Amyloid β and free heme: bloody new insights into the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease


1 Institute for Medical Physics and Biophysics, Medical Faculty, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany
2 Institute of Molecular Biology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia; Institute of Chemical, Environmental and Biological Engineering, Faculty of Technical Chemistry, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria
3 Institute for Medical Physics and Biophysics, Medical Faculty, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany; Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
Jörg Flemmig
Institute for Medical Physics and Biophysics, Medical Faculty, Leipzig University, Leipzig
Germany
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Source of Support: The work was supported by the Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e.V. (AFI 13810), Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.235021

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The cerebral formation of Amyloid β (Aβ) is a critical pathological feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). An accumulation of this peptide as senile plaques (SP) was already reported by Alois Alzheimer, the discoverer of the disease. Yet the exact contribution of Aβ to AD development remains elusive. Moreover, while extensive cerebral Aβ formation leads to fibril formation in many species, AD-like symptoms apparently depend on the highly conserved N-terminal residues R5, Y10 and H13. The amino acids were also shown to lead to the formation of Aβ-heme complexes, which exhibit peroxidase activity in the presence of H2O2. Taking together these observations we propose that the formation and enzymatic activity of the named complexes may represent an essential aspect of AD pathology. Furthermore, Aβ is also known to lead to cerebral micro-vessel destruction (CAA) as well as to hemolytic events. Thus we suggest that the Aβ-derived cerebral accumulation of blood-derived free heme represents a likely precondition for the subsequent formation of Aβ-heme complexes.


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