Although, I am new to this group, but I wish we can start a discussion here on the role of tau in AD, its seems like it plays a dwell role in AD - protective and pro-degenerative, depending on the time course of the disease and its spatial and temporal conformation. How do you think about this.
Mark Smith and others in our group have written extensively on this topic. We think tau and Abeta are physiological responses to tissue injury.
Thanks Prof. Perry. But i think new evidence is emerging which implicates nuclear tau as having neuroptotective role - see the paper by a french team - Sultan et al. (2011) : Nuclear Tau, a Key Player in Neuronal DNA Protection. Another study by a chineese group has also implicated tau in neuroprotection. See Li, H. L. et al. 2007. Phosphorylation of tau antagonizes apoptosis by stabilizing beta-catenin, a mechanism involved in Alzheimer’s neurodegeneration. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 104(9):3591-6. Thus, it seems like at the early stage, tau is neuroprotective, according to this studies.