Journal of Clinical and Cellular Immunology

Journal of Clinical and Cellular Immunology
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9899


Cytokines and Cytokine Receptors Involved in the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease

Tomone Nagae, Kiho Araki, Yuki Shimoda, Lucia I. Sue, Thomas G. Beach and Yoshihiro Konishi

Inflammatory mechanisms are implicated in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, it is unclear whether inflammatory alterations are a cause or consequence of neurodegeneration leading to dementia. Clarifying this issue would provide valuable insight into the early diagnosis and therapeutic management of AD. To address this, we compared the mRNA expression profiles of cytokines in the brains of AD patients with “non-demented individuals with AD pathology” and non-demented healthy control (ND) individuals. “Non-demented individuals with AD pathology” are referred to as high pathology control (HPC) individuals that are considered an intermediate subset between AD and ND. HPC represents a transition between normal aging and early stage of AD, and therefore, is useful for determining whether neuroinflammation is a cause or consequence of AD pathology. We observed that immunological conditions that produce cytokines in the HPC brain were more representative of ND than AD. To validate these result, we investigated the expression of inflammatory mediators at the protein level in postmortem brain tissues. We examined the protein expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α and its receptors (TNFRs) in the brains of AD, HPC, and ND individuals. We found differences in soluble TNFα and TNFRs expression between AD and ND groups and between AD and HPC groups. Expression in the temporal cortex was lower in the AD brains than HPC and ND. Our findings indicate that alterations in immunological conditions involving TNFR-mediated signaling are not the primary events initiating AD pathology, such as amyloid plaques and tangle formation. These may be early events occurring along with synaptic and neuronal changes or later events caused by these changes. In this review, we emphasize that elucidating the temporal expression of TNFα signaling molecules during AD is important to understand the selective tuning of these pathways required to develop effective therapeutic strategies for AD.