Can a bacterial endotoxin be a key factor in the kinetics of amyloid fibril formation?

Annalia Asti, Luciana Gioglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Data found in literature have reported that bacterial endotoxins may be involved in the inflammatory and pathological processes associated with amyloidosis and Alzheimer's disease (AD). In fact, it has been observed that the chronic infusion of the bacterial lipopolysaccharide, the outer cell wall component of Gram negative bacteria, into the fourth ventricle of rats reproduces many of the inflammatory and pathological features seen in the brain of AD patients. In this context, a key player in the pathogenesis of AD is the amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) that is capable of aggregating in fibrils that represent the main component of amyloid plaques. These deposits that accumulate among brain cells are indeed one of the hallmarks of AD. This aggregation in fibrils seems to correlate with Aβ toxic effects. However, recent data have shown that amyloid fibril formation not only results in toxic aggregates but also provides biologically functional molecules; such amyloids have been identified on the surface of fungi and bacteria. The aim of this work was to gain insight into the influence of bacterial endotoxins on Aβ fibrillogenesis; factors that influence fibril formation may be important for Aβ toxic potential. Following three days of incubation at 37°C, Aβ was organized in compact fibrils and the in vitro Aβ fibrillogenesis was potentiated by the Escherichia coli endotoxin. This suggests the importance of infectious events in the pathogenesis of AD and proposes a new aspect related to the putative pathological factors that can be implicated in the mechanisms involved in Aβ25-35 fibrillogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-179
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • amyloid-β
  • Escherichia coli
  • lipopolysaccharide
  • transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology


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