[Frontiers in Bioscience E4, 181-194, January 1, 2012]

Peripheral cholesterol, metabolic disorders and Alzheimer's disease

Maria Dolores Ledesma1, Carlos Gerardo Dotti 1,2,3

1Center for Molecular Biology Severo Ochoa CSIC-UAM, Madrid, Spain, 2VIB Department of Molecular and Developmental Genetics, 3 Catholic University of Leuven, Department of Human Genetics, Leuven, Belgium


1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Peripheral cholesterol and AD
4. Cholesterol, diabetes and AD
5. Cholesterol, obesity and AD
6. Cholesterol, atherosclerosis and AD
7. Peripheral cholesterol as therapeutical target for metabolic disorders and AD
7.1. Reducing LDL cholesterol levels
7.2. Increasing HDL cholesterol levels
9. Acknowledgements
10. References


Strong correlations have been made between high levels of blood cholesterol and the risk to suffer Alzheimer's disease (AD). The question arises on how a peripheral event contributes to a disease that so severely affects the integrity and function of the Central Nervous System. Hypercholesterolemia has been also associated to peripheral metabolic disorders like diabetes, obesity or atherosclerosis that, in turn, predispose to AD. Here we review data, which point to alterations in blood cholesterol levels as a link between these metabolic disorders and AD. We describe and discuss common, cholesterol-related, molecular mechanisms and strategies to fight these conditions that, altogether, constitute a major cause of death in our societies.