J. Neurochem. (2011) 117, 19–28.
The pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease involves the progressive accumulation of amyloid β-protein (Aβ). Recent studies using synthetic Aβ peptides, a cell culture model, Aβ precursor protein transgenic mice models suggest that pre-fibrillar forms of Aβ are more deleterious than extracellular fibril forms. Recent findings obtained using synthetic Aβ peptides and human samples indicated that low-n oligomers (from dimers to octamers) may be proximate toxins for neuron and synapse. Here, we review the recent studies on the soluble oligomers, especially low-n oligomers in Alzheimer’s disease.