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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2011, Article ID 189728, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/189728
Review Article

GSK3 Function in the Brain during Development, Neuronal Plasticity, and Neurodegeneration

Departamento de Medicina Genómica y Toxicología Ambiental, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, AP 70-228, 04510 Ciudad de México, Mexico

Received 1 February 2011; Accepted 7 March 2011

Academic Editor: Peter Crouch

Copyright © 2011 Pamela Salcedo-Tello 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.

Abstract

GSK3 has diverse functions, including an important role in brain pathology. In this paper, we address the primary functions of GSK3 in development and neuroplasticity, which appear to be interrelated and to mediate age-associated neurological diseases. Specifically, GSK3 plays a pivotal role in controlling neuronal progenitor proliferation and establishment of neuronal polarity during development, and the upstream and downstream signals modulating neuronal GSK3 function affect cytoskeletal reorganization and neuroplasticity throughout the lifespan. Modulation of GSK3 in brain areas subserving cognitive function has become a major focus for treating neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. As a crucial node that mediates a variety of neuronal processes, GSK3 is proposed to be a therapeutic target for restoration of synaptic functioning and cognition, particularly in Alzheimer's disease.