Neuroinflammation and the genetics of Alzheimer's disease: the search for a pro-inflammatory phenotype

Aging (Milano). 2001 Jun;13(3):163-70. doi: 10.1007/BF03351475.


The role of interleukin 1 (IL-1) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is reviewed within the framework of "inflamm-aging", i.e., the characteristic chronic pro-inflammatory status which develops in old age, and neuroinflammation, i.e., the peculiar inflammatory process which is present in the brain of AD patients. In particular, the data suggesting that several IL-1 and IL-6 gene polymorphisms can contribute to the risk of developing AD are reviewed. The possibility as well as the difficulty in identifying a pro-inflammatory phenotype, and its importance for the prevention, diagnosis and therapy of AD and other age-related pathologies are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / immunology
  • Alzheimer Disease / etiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Alzheimer Disease / immunology
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Interleukin-1 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-1 / genetics
  • Interleukin-6 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuritis / genetics
  • Phenotype


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-6