Intravenous immunoglobulin and Alzheimer's disease immunotherapy

Beka Solomon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) contributes to the acute progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and has become the main target for therapeutics. Active immunization with Aβ in individuals with AD has been efficacious; however, some patients developed side effects, possibly related to an autoimmune response. Evidence that intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), an FDA-approved purified immunoglobulin fraction from normal human donor blood, shows promise of passive immunotherapy for AD is reviewed. Investigations into the molecular effects of IVIg on Aβ clearance, using the BV-2 cellular microglia line, demonstrate that IVIg dissolves Aβ fibrils in vitro, increases cellular tolerance to Aβ, enhances microglial migration toward Aβ deposits, and mediates phagocytosis of Aβ. Preliminary clinical results indicate that IVIg, which contains natural antibodies against the Aβ, warrants further study into its potential to deliver a controlled immune attack on the peptide, avoiding the immune toxicities that have had a negative impact on the first clinical trials of vaccine against Aβ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Molecular Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid pathology
  • Cognitive behavior
  • Human IVIg
  • Immunotherapy
  • Passive immunization


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