Kallikrein-kinin system mediated inflammation in Alzheimer's disease in vivo

Curr Alzheimer Res. 2011 Feb;8(1):59-66. doi: 10.2174/156720511794604570.


The Kallikrein-Kinin System (KKS) has been associated to inflammatory and immunogenic responses in the peripheral and central nervous system by the activation of two receptors, namely B1 receptor and B2 receptor. The B1 receptor is absent or under-expressed in physiological conditions, being up-regulated during tissue injury or in the presence of cytokines. The B2 receptor is constitutive and mediates most of the biological effects of kinins. Some authors suggest a link between the KKS and the neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have recently described an increase in bradykinin (BK) in the cerebrospinal fluid and in densities of B1 and B2 receptors in brain areas related to memory, after chronic infusion of amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide in rats, which was accompanied by memory disruption and neuronal loss. Mice lacking B1 or B2 receptors presented reduced cognitive deficits related to the learning process, after acute intracerebroventricular (i.c.v). administration of Aβ. Nevertheless, our group showed an early disruption of cognitive function by i.c.v. chronic infusion of Aβ after a learned task, in the knock-out B2 mice. This suggests a neuroprotective role for B2 receptors. In knock-out B1 mice the memory disruption was absent, implying the participation of this receptor in neurodegenerative processes. The acute or chronic infusion of Aβ can lead to different responses of the brain tissue. In this way, the proper involvement of KKS on neuroinflammation in AD probably depends on the amount of Aβ injected. Though, BK applied to neurons can exert inflammatory effects, whereas in glial cells, BK can have a potential protective role for neurons, by inhibiting proinflammatory cytokines. This review discusses this duality concerning the KKS and neuroinflammation in AD in vivo.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / complications*
  • Alzheimer Disease / immunology
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Kallikreins / metabolism*
  • Kinins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Kinins
  • Kallikreins