Cytokine/neurotrophin interaction in the aged central nervous system

Nancy J. Macdonald, Francesco Decorti, Todd C. Pappas, Giulio Taglialatela

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Age-associated neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease are characterised by neuronal impairment that leads to cognitive deficits. As certain affected neurons depend on trophic factors such as neurotrophins (NTs), impairment in NT function has been suggested to be a component of neuronal damage associated with such disorders. Age-related neurodegenerative diseases are also characterised by high levels of proinflammatory cytokines such as tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) in the CNS. Because TNFα receptors and certain NT receptors share a high degree of homology and are capable of activating similar signalling pathways, one possibility is that altered cytokine levels may affect NT function in the aged or diseased CNS. Here we wish briefly to review the evidence suggesting a role for cytokine and NT in the onset of age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. We propose that cytokine/NT interactions may alter neuronal homeostasis, thus possibly contributing to some of the neuronal degeneration occurring during such age-associated CNS diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-551
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Cytokines
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neurotrophins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology
  • Histology
  • Developmental Biology


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