Tumor necrosis factor-α-308A/G polymorphism is associated with age at onset of Alzheimer's disease

Domenico Lio, Giorgio Annoni, Federico Licastro, Antonino Crivello, Giusi Irma Forte, Letizia Scola, Giuseppina Colonna-Romano, Giuseppina Candore, Beatrice Arosio, Lorenza Galimberti, Carlo Vergani, Calogero Caruso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pro-inflammatory cytokines and acute-phase proteins play an important role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) neurodegeneration, and common polymorphisms of genes controlling their production have been shown to be associated with AD. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α is an inflammatory cytokine involved in the local immune response occurring in the central nervous system of AD patients. Genetic variation could contribute to the risk of developing AD or influence the age at the onset of the disease. We genotyped 222 patients (152 women, 70 men; age range 60-87) and 240 non-demented age-matched healthy controls for TNF-α -308 G/A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). No significant differences were observed in genotyped frequencies between patients and controls, whereas carriers of -308A showed a significantly lower mean age at onset than non-carriers of this allele. This difference was more evident taking into account ApolipoproteinE (ApoE) status since the lowest age at onset was observed in patients carrying the -308ATNF+/APOE4+ genotypes. In conclusion, our data support previous suggestions that, at least in Caucasians, the TNF gene is a disease modifier gene in patients in which AD is rising, bringing to light the importance of genetic variation at the pro-inflammatory components in the progression of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-571
Number of pages5
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cytokine
  • Inflammation
  • SNP
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Biochemistry
  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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