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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2016, Article ID 3204519, 12 pages
Review Article

Amyloid-β-Induced Dysregulation of AMPA Receptor Trafficking

Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research, Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia

Received 11 January 2016; Accepted 28 February 2016

Academic Editor: Long-Jun Wu

Copyright © 2016 Sumasri Guntupalli 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.


Evidence from neuropathological, genetic, animal model, and biochemical studies has indicated that the accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) is associated with, and probably induces, profound neuronal changes in brain regions critical for memory and cognition in the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). There is considerable evidence that synapses are particularly vulnerable to AD, establishing synaptic dysfunction as one of the earliest events in pathogenesis, prior to neuronal loss. It is clear that excessive Aβ levels can disrupt excitatory synaptic transmission and plasticity, mainly due to dysregulation of the AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptors in the brain. Importantly, AMPA receptors are the principal glutamate receptors that mediate fast excitatory neurotransmission. This is essential for synaptic plasticity, a cellular correlate of learning and memory, which are the cognitive functions that are most disrupted in AD. Here we review recent advances in the field and provide insights into the molecular mechanisms that underlie Aβ-induced dysfunction of AMPA receptor trafficking. This review focuses primarily on NMDA receptor- and metabotropic glutamate receptor-mediated signaling. In particular, we highlight several mechanisms that underlie synaptic long-term depression as common signaling pathways that are hijacked by the neurotoxic effects of Aβ.