Inflammatory markers in Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct dementia

Ada De Luigi, Claudia Fragiacomo, Ugo Lucca, Pierluigi Quadri, Mauro Tettamanti, Maria Grazia De Simoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inflammation has been involved in the pathogenesis of dementia. The study evaluates the presence and the source of pro- and anti- inflammatory cytokines in the blood of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), multi-infarct dementia (MID) or in non-demented elderly people (controls). Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-10, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) and soluble TNF receptor I (sTNF-RI) plasma concentrations and release from blood cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 1 μg/ml) were determined. The results show that TNF-α released from blood cells is significantly decreased (27%) in all demented patients compared to controls. Circulating TNF-α is increased (400%) only in MID patients. In these patients plasma levels of sTNF-RI are increased (53%) and IL-10 from stimulated blood cells decreased (47%) compared to non-demented subjects. The results show that: (1) peripheral production of TNF-α is blunted in demented (both AD and MID) patients compared to non-demented age-matched subjects; (2) AD patients have a selective disregulation of the peripheral TNF-α system; (3) different cytokines are up- or down- regulated in MID patients showing that in this condition the pro- and anti-inflammatory peripheral cytokine system is more widely affected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1985-1995
Number of pages11
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Antiinflammatory cytokines
  • Inflammatory cytokines
  • Multi-infarct dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Biochemistry
  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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