Neurological Sciences

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 321–325 | Cite as

Cytokine polymorphisms and Alzheimer disease: possible associations

  • G. Ribizzi
  • S. Fiordoro
  • S. Barocci
  • E. Ferrari
  • M. Megna
Original Article

Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a degenerative dementia characterized by typical, destructive alterations of neurons (neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques), and glial proliferation. Cytokine-driven inflammatory environment can contribute to the pathogenesis and/or progression of the disease. The aim of the study was to evaluate and compare genotypic and allelic polymorphisms of 13 cytokine genes in 19 Caucasoid AD patients with medium–high level of dementia (assessed by an MMSE < 24) and 20 normal controls affected by non inflammatory neuropsychiatric disease. Polymorphisms in the genes of IL-lA, IL-lB, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IFN-G, TGF-β, TNF-α, and of the cytokine receptors IL-lR, IL-IRA, IL-4RA were investigated. APO-E and ACE gene polymorphisms were carried out in the patient’s group only to evaluate a possible association with known genetic risk factors for AD. A highly significant presence of some alleles belonging to anti-inflammatory cytokine genes was found; particularly the C allele for the −590 promoter and T allele for the −1098 promoter of IL-4 appeared in a significantly higher percentage as compared with controls (P < 0.0006 and P < 0.0005, respectively), while a lesser significance was observed for the allele C of the −819 promoter of IL-10 (P < 0.03). Finally, in the group of demented patients for the APO-E gene we found a statistically significant presence of the E4 allele, whereas no difference was found for the polymorphisms of the ACE gene. Our observations corroborate the possible presence of a pro-inflammatory environment in AD patients, partly sustained by the low expression of anti-inflammatory cytokine genes when defined alleles are present. Large cohort studies are necessary in order to assess the real association of some cytokine alleles or haplotypes with AD.

Keywords

Alzheimer Cytokine Genetic polymorphisms 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Ribizzi
    • 1
  • S. Fiordoro
    • 2
  • S. Barocci
    • 2
  • E. Ferrari
    • 2
  • M. Megna
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyOspedale S. MartinoGenoaItaly
  2. 2.Immunology ServiceOspedale S. MartinoGenoaItaly
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyUniversity of BariBariItaly

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