What does complement do in Alzheimer's disease? Old molecules with new insights

Yong Shen, Libang Yang, Rena Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Increasing evidence suggests that inflammatory and immune components in brain are important in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and anti-inflammatory and immunotherapeutic approaches may be amenable to AD treatment. It is known that complement activation occurs in the brain of patients with AD, and contributes to a local inflammatory state development which is correlated with cognitive impairment. In addition to the complement's critical role in the innate immune system recognizing and killing, or targeting for destruction, complement proteins can also interact with cell surface receptors to promote a local inflammatory response and contributes to the protection and healing of the host. On the other hand, complement activation also causes inflammation and cell damage as an essential immune function to eliminate cell debris and potentially toxic protein aggregates. It is the balance of these seemingly competing events that influences the ultimate state of neuronal function. Our mini review will be focusing on the unique molecular interactions happening in the AD development, the functional outcomes of those interactions, as well as the contribution of each element to AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
JournalTranslational Neurodegeneration
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 12 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Yong Shen and Dr. Rena Li have been supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging (RO1AG025888, YS and NIHR01AG032441-01, RL), Alzheimer’s Association (Zenith Award and IIRG-07-59510) and American Health Assistance Foundation (G2006-118, RL).


Dive into the research topics of 'What does complement do in Alzheimer's disease? Old molecules with new insights'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this