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Exp Gerontol. 2001 Jan;36(1):171-6.

Patients with Alzheimer's disease display a pro-inflammatory phenotype.

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Section of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Department of General Internal Medicine, Leiden University Medical Center, Building 1 C-2R, P.O.BOX 9600, 2300 RC, Leiden, The Netherlands.



Inflammation plays a pivotal role in amyloid plaque progression thereby contributing to Alzheimer's disease-related neurodegeneration. We hypothesized that patients with Alzheimer's disease have an innate pro-inflammatory phenotype, as compared to control subjects without dementia.


Patients with a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease (n=12) and control subjects without signs of dementia (n=18) were enrolled. Whole blood samples were stimulated ex vivo with endotoxin under standard conditions. Cytokine levels were assessed by ELISA and compared by Mann-Whitneyll-test after log transformation.


Patients with Alzheimer's disease had seven- to ten-fold higher IL-1beta production relative to the amount of IL-10 both at the low (p=0.006) and high concentration of endotoxin (p=0.007). Subjects who display a pro-inflammatory phenotype as defined by a high IL-1beta/IL-10 ratio had 13.0-fold higher odds (95% CI: 2.1-82) to have dementia.


The data support the hypothesis that a pro-inflammatory phenotype contributes to the development of Alzheimer's disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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