Aggregation of various concentrations of amyloid-β 42 (Aβ42) in the absence (c) or presence (d) of gangliosides, as measured by thioflavin T (ThT) fluorescence. Note the different scales of the x-axes in the two plots.

“Ganglioside Lipids Inhibit the Aggregation of the Alzheimer’s Related Peptide Amyloid-β.”

Zenon Toprakcioglu, et al. – University of Cambridge.

This study found that gangliosides, membrane lipids whose levels decline with aging, inhibit the assembly of amyloid-β into fibrils. While other lipids such as POPS also had this effect, gangliosides were more effective by orders of magnitude, suggesting a specific role for these membrane lipids in staving off amyloid-β aggregation. Gangliosides are also in the correct subcellular location to affect amyloid plaque formation as components of the outer half of the plasma membrane, interfacing with extracellular amyloid-β. Preventing the age-related decline in ganglioside levels could thus have a therapeutic and/or preventative impact on AD.