The role of inflammation in Alzheimer's disease

Ehab E. Tuppo, Hugo R. Arias

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

618 Scopus citations


Considerable evidence gained over the past decade has supported the conclusion that neuroinflammation is associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology. Inflammatory components related to AD neuroinflammation include brain cells such as microglia and astrocytes, the classic and alternate pathways of the complement system, the pentraxin acute-phase proteins, neuronal-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs), peroxisomal proliferators-activated receptors (PPARs), as well as cytokines and chemokines. Both the microglia and astrocytes have been shown to generate beta-amyloid protein (Aβ), one of the main pathologic features of AD. Aβ itself has been shown to act as a pro-inflammatory agent causing the activation of many of the inflammatory components. Further substantiation for the role of neuroinflammation in AD has come from studies that demonstrate patients who took non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs had a lower risk of AD than those who did not. These same results have led to increased interest in pursuing anti-inflammatory therapy for AD but with poor results. On the other hand, increasing amount of data suggest that AChRs and PPARs are involved in AD-induced neuroinflammation and in this regard, future therapy may focus on their specific targeting in the AD brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-305
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Beta-amyloid protein
  • Chemokines
  • Complement system
  • Cyclooxygenase
  • Cytokines
  • Glial cells
  • Interleukin
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors
  • Pentraxins
  • Senile plaques
  • Steroids
  • Tumor necrosis factor


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