Diminished production of proinflammatory cytokines in patients with Alzheimer's disease

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2005;19(4):184-8. doi: 10.1159/000083497. Epub 2005 Jan 25.


Cerebral inflammation as well as systemic immunological alterations have been reported in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We examined the production of the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-6, interleukin-12, interferon-gamma, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in whole blood cell cultures of AD patients and age-matched controls. The production of all measured cytokines after mitogen stimulation is significantly decreased in the AD group compared to controls. The results reflect an attenuated secretory activity of monocytes/macrophages, but also of T-helper cells. The data sustain the assumption that a systemic, possibly age-related alteration of immune mechanisms may play a pathogenetic role in the development of AD.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / blood
  • Alzheimer Disease / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / blood
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology*
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-12 / blood
  • Interleukin-12 / immunology*
  • Interleukin-12 / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / immunology*
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*


  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-12
  • Interferon-gamma