Heparan sulphate proteoglycans in Alzheimer's disease and amyloid-related disorders

Jack Van Horssen, Pieter Wesseling, Lambert P.W.J. Van Den Heuvel, Robert M.W. De Waal, Marcel M. Verbeek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

184 Citations (Scopus)


Proteoglycans are associated with all kinds of amyloid deposits in the human body. These complex macromolecules, in particular heparan sulphate proteoglycans, have also been implicated in several features of the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), including the genesis of senile plaques, cerebrovascular amyloid, and neurofibrillary tangles. In this review we focus on the role of proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans in amyloidogenesis in general and in AD in particular. Heparan sulphate proteoglycans may promote amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) or tau fibrillisation on the one hand, and provide resistance against proteolytic breakdown on the other. Knowledge about the role of proteoglycans in AD pathology may eventually be of therapeutic use, because small polysulphated compounds, which can interfere with the interaction between proteoglycan and Aβ, have been shown to stop or even prevent amyloidogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-492
Number of pages11
JournalLancet Neurology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes


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