Evidence for potential involvement of pro-inflammatory adipokines in the pathogenesis of idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Cephalalgia. 2017 May;37(6):525-531. doi: 10.1177/0333102416650705. Epub 2016 May 18.


Background Although specific role players are currently unknown, contribution of inflammatory mediators has been suggested in the pathophysiology of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), which is a disease more prevalent in obese female individuals of childbearing age. We aimed to investigate the levels of adipokines and cytokines to demonstrate possible markers for inflammation that participate in IIH pathophysiology and their association with clinical features of IIH. Methods IIH patients, diagnosed according to the revised criteria, and age-, gender- and body mass index (BMI)-matched healthy controls were enrolled in this study. Serum samples were evaluated for insulin-like growth factor 1, insulin, nesfatin, adiponectin, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, leptin, plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1, resistin, tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or multiplex immunoassays. Results IL-1β level was significantly higher ( p = 0.012), and IL-8 and TNF-α levels were significantly lower in the IIH group ( p < 0.001 and p = 0.008, respectively) compared to the control group. There were no correlations between the cytokine/adipokine levels and age, BMI, disease duration, and cerebrospinal fluid oligoclonal bands. There were also no significant differences in cytokine and adipokine levels between IIH patients regarding visual impairment. However, statistically significant differences were found between IIH patients with relapse versus healthy controls regarding IL-1β ( p = 0.007), IL-8 ( p = 0.001) and TNF-α ( p = 0.017) levels. Other investigated cytokines and adipokines showed no significant alterations in IIH patients investigated in the remission period. Conclusion Altered serum levels of IL-1β, IL-8 and TNF-α seem to be associated with IIH pathogenesis, and these cytokines may be used as prognostic markers in IIH to predict relapse.

Keywords: Adipokines; cytokines; idiopathic intracranial hypertension; nesfatin; obesity.

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / blood*
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / blood*
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / diagnostic imaging*


  • Adipokines
  • Biomarkers
  • Inflammation Mediators