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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 697036, 9 pages
Review Article

A Window into the Heterogeneity of Human Cerebrospinal Fluid Aβ Peptides

1Proteomics Unit, IRCCS “Centro S. Giovanni di Dio-FBF”, 25125 Brescia, Italy
2NeuroBioGen Lab-Memory Clinic, IRCCS “Centro S. Giovanni di Dio-FBF”, 25125 Brescia, Italy
3Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, 17177 Stockholm, Sweden
4IRCCS San Camillo, Lido VE, 30126 Venice, Italy

Received 1 June 2011; Revised 27 June 2011; Accepted 30 June 2011

Academic Editor: Thomas Van Groen

Copyright © 2011 Roberta Ghidoni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The initiating event in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an imbalance in the production and clearance of amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides leading to the formation of neurotoxic brain Aβ assemblies. Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF), which is a continuum of the brain, is an obvious source of markers reflecting central neuropathologic features of brain diseases. In this review, we provide an overview and update on our current understanding of the pathobiology of human CSF Aβ peptides. Specifically, we focused our attention on the heterogeneity of the CSF Aβ world discussing (1) basic research studies and what has been translated to clinical practice, (2) monomers and other soluble circulating Aβ assemblies, and (3) communication modes for Aβ peptides and their microenvironment targets. Finally, we suggest that Aβ peptides as well as other key signals in the central nervous system (CNS), mainly involved in learning and hence plasticity, may have a double-edged sword action on neuron survival and function.