The role of TNF and its receptors in Alzheimer's disease

Neurobiol Aging. Nov-Dec 2001;22(6):873-83. doi: 10.1016/s0197-4580(01)00291-3.


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is an important proinflammatory cytokine that is upregulated in Alzheimer disease (AD) patients and involved with AD genes. Several TNF promoter polymorphisms that increase expression are associated with inflammatory and infectious diseases. We previously reported results that detected a AD associated region near the TNF gene. Using family-based association tests we also reported an association between AD and a TNF haplotype in sibling-pair families, and a significant increase in the mean age of onset for a group of African-American AD patients carrying this same haplotype. Previous reports have shown that that the chromosome 1p and chromosome 12p regions are linked to late-onset AD. These two regions harbor TNF receptors (TNFR) 2 and 1, respectively, and binding to them mediates biological effects of TNF. We found a significant asssociation of a TNFR2 exon 6 polymorphism with late-onset AD in families with no individuals possessing the APOE E4E4 genotype under a dominant model. We found no significant association of three polymorphisms in the TNFR1 gene to AD. These results provide further evidence for the involvement of TNF in the pathogenesis of AD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / metabolism*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha