Cytokines in Dementias
Affiliation: Departments of Rheumatology and Geriatrics, University of Goteborg, Guldhedsgatan 10, S-413 46 Goteborg, Sweden.
Knowledge regarding putative inflammatory component(s) participating in Alzheimers disease (AD) and in vascular dementia (VAD) remains scarce. Recently, we have demonstrated the presence of inflammatory components, such as cytokines, in the CSF of demented patients. Although the initial events triggering the neurodegenerative processes in AD versus VAD may be different and thus lead to different neuropathological outcome, they may initiate a similar cascade of cytokine production in response to neuronal injury. The cytokines released in the CNS may in turn, act in a similar manner in both diseases, amplifying certain pathological changes such as amyloidogenesis and amyloid accumulation in the blood vessels, white matter lesions and angiogenesis. This hypothesis is supported by clinical studies demonstrating the presence of white matter infarcts and cerebrovascular pathology in patients with AD as well as the presence of senile plaques in patients with VAD. This review will focus on the production of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in dementia, and their putative role for glia cell activation, amyloidogenesis, vascular changes, white matter damage and neurodegeneration.
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