Author(s): Masliah E, Terry R
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Abstract Complex sets of nervous system functions are dependent on proper working of the synaptic apparatus, and these functions are regulated by diverse synaptic proteins that are distributed in various subcellular compartments of the synapse. The most extensively studied synaptic proteins are synaptophysin, the synapsins, growth associated protein 43 (GAP-43), SV-2, and p65. Moreover, synaptic terminals contain a great number of other proteins involved in calcium transport, neurotransmission, signaling, growth and plasticity. Probes against various synaptic proteins have recently been used to study synaptic alterations in human disease, as well as in experimental models of neurological disorders. Such probes are useful markers of synaptic function and synaptic population density in the nervous system. For the present, we will review the role of synaptic proteins in the following conditions: Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other disorders including ischemia, disorders where synapse-associated proteins are abnormally accumulated in the nerve terminals, synaptic proteins altered after denervation, and synaptic proteins as markers in neoplastic disorders. The study of the molecular alterations of the synapses and of plasticity might yield important clues as to the mechanisms of neurodegeneration in AD, and of the patterns of presynaptic and dendritic damage under diverse pathological conditions.
This article was published in Brain Pathol
and referenced in Drug Designing: Open Access