Based on recent research neuroinflammation is more than just a pathological mechanism in neurodegenerative diseases. As representatives for the cytokine family we will review the functions of Interleukin-6 and Tumor Necorosis Factor with respect to their role in neuroprotection and neurodegeneration. Both cytokines have been found to be strongly upregulated during diseases such as Alzheimers disease, stroke or Parkinsons syndrome. By comparing signaling function of these cytokines during health and disease it becomes clear that the role of cytokine mediated tissue modulation depends very much on the molecular and cellular state of nerve cells e.g. physiological vs. pathological. Finally, we will discuss the possibilities of using cytokine activated pathways as a potential targets for therapeutic avenues.
Keywords: Tumor Necrosis Factor, Interleukin-6, Nuclear Factor kappa B, Protein Kinase B/Akt, gp130, STAT
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