Peripheral inflammatory biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease: a brief review

BMB Rep. 2020 Jan;53(1):10-19. doi: 10.5483/BMBRep.2020.53.1.309.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease characterized by the accumulation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. The AD pathophysiology entails chronic inflammation involving innate immune cells including microglia, astrocytes, and other peripheral blood cells. Inflammatory mediators such as cytokines and complements are also linked to AD pathogenesis. Despite increasing evidence supporting the association between abnormal inflammation and AD, no well-established inflammatory biomarkers are currently available for AD. Since many reports have shown that abnormal inflammation precedes the outbreak of the disease, non-invasive and readily available peripheral inflammatory biomarkers should be considered as possible biomarkers for early diagnosis of AD. In this minireview, we introduce the peripheral biomarker candidates related to abnormal inflammation in AD and discuss their possible molecular mechanisms. Furthermore, we also summarize the current state of inflammatory biomarker research in clinical practice and molecular diagnostics. We believe this review will provide new insights into biomarker candidates for the early diagnosis of AD with systemic relevance to inflammation during AD pathogenesis. [BMB Reports 2020; 53(1): 10-19].

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / immunology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / immunology
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Astrocytes / pathology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Complement System Proteins / genetics
  • Complement System Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / immunology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Mice
  • Microglia / immunology
  • Microglia / metabolism
  • Microglia / pathology


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Complement System Proteins