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Comparative Study
, 8 (6), e64971

Inflammatory Proteins in Plasma Are Associated With Severity of Alzheimer's Disease

Comparative Study

Inflammatory Proteins in Plasma Are Associated With Severity of Alzheimer's Disease

Rufina Leung et al. PLoS One.


Markers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are being widely sought with a number of studies suggesting blood measures of inflammatory proteins as putative biomarkers. Here we report findings from a panel of 27 cytokines and related proteins in over 350 subjects with AD, subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and elderly normal controls where we also have measures of longitudinal change in cognition and baseline neuroimaging measures of atrophy. In this study, we identify five inflammatory proteins associated with evidence of atrophy on MR imaging data particularly in whole brain, ventricular and entorhinal cortex measures. In addition, we observed six analytes that showed significant change (over a period of one year) in people with fast cognitive decline compared to those with intermediate and slow decline. One of these (IL-10) was also associated with brain atrophy in AD. In conclusion, IL-10 was associated with both clinical and imaging evidence of severity of disease and might therefore have potential to act as biomarker of disease progression.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Figure 1
Figure 1. Association between inflammatory proteins levels measured in plasma versus ventricular volume.
Scatter diagram with regression lines show the relationship between proteins levels of IL-1ra (N = 86) (figure 1A), IL-6 (N = 83) (figure 1B) and IL-10 (N = 38)(figure 1C)and ventricular volume in the three separate diagnostic groups. Keys: Blue line and dots denote control samples; orange line and dots denote MCI samples; red line and dots denote AD samples; brown dotted line denotes 95% CI.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Inflammatory proteins levels at Visit 1 (baseline) and Visit 2 (one year follow up from baseline) for the three ADAS-cog cognitive decline groups.
Linear mixed effects models indicated significant yearly changes in the log-transformed IL-2 (figure 2A), IL-4 (figure 2B), IL-10 (figure 2C), G-CSF (figure 2D), IFN-γ (figure 2E), and PDGF (figure 2F) (pg/ml) inflammatory protein levels between the three cognitive decline groups, after adjusting for covariates. Slow indicates slow decliner. Inter indicates intermediate decliner. Fast indicates fast decliner Key: 1– Visit 1(Baseline); 2– Visit 2 (one year follow up from baseline).

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