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Ciaramella A.,Experimental Neuro PsychoBiology Laboratory | Della Vedova C.,Post Coma Unit | Salani F.,Experimental Neuro PsychoBiology Laboratory | Viganotti M.,Experimental Neuro PsychoBiology Laboratory | And 5 more authors.
NeuroImmunoModulation | Year: 2013

Objective: A long-lasting neuroinflammatory cascade may lead to the progression of brain damage, favoring neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), but the potential mechanisms underlying this sequence of events remain elusive. Here we aimed to evaluate the impact of interleukin (IL)-18, a proinflammatory cytokine elevated in post-acute head injury and associated with neurodegeneration, on the long-term outcome of patients with chronic TBI. Methods: The serum content of IL-18 was evaluated in 16 patients with severe TBI, during their rehabilitation phase, and in a matched group of 16 healthy controls. The disability of the enrolled patients was evaluated by means of the Glasgow Outcome Scale, Levels of Cognitive Functioning, and the Disability Rating Scale. Results: The circulating levels of IL-18 were significantly increased in chronic TBI patients, as compared to healthy subjects, and correlated with the patients' cognitive impairment and disability severity. Conclusions: IL-18 may contribute to the long-term outcome and neurodegeneration in TBI patients. Even though further studies are needed to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of IL-18 on TBI progression and its associated drop in cognitive function, a possible role of this cytokine as a therapeutic target in TBI can be envisaged. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel. Source

Ciaramella A.,Experimental Neuro PsychoBiology Laboratory | Bizzoni F.,Experimental Neuro PsychoBiology Laboratory | Salani F.,Experimental Neuro PsychoBiology Laboratory | Vanni D.,Experimental Neuro PsychoBiology Laboratory | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2010

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by abnormal accumulation of amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) into extracellular fibrillar deposits, paralleled by chronic neuroinflammatory processes. Although Aβ seems to be causative in AD brain damage, the role of the immune system and its mechanisms still remain to be clarified. We have recently shown that normal monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDCs), when differentiated in the presence of Aβ -{1-42}, acquire an inflammatory phenotype and a reduced antigen presenting ability. Here we studied MDDCs derived from AD patients in comparison with MDDCs obtained from healthy control subjects (HC). MDDCs from AD patients, at variance with HC-derived cells, were characterized by an augmented cell recovery, a consistent increase in the expression of the pro-inflammatory ICAM-1 molecule, a decrease in the expression of the co-stimulatory CD40 molecule, and an impaired ability to induce T cell proliferation. Furthermore, MDDCs from AD produced higher amounts of IL-6 than HC-derived cells, confirming the more pronounced pro-inflammatory features of these cells in AD patients. Consistent results have been also obtained with monocytes, the MDDC precursors. In fact, while unstimulated monocytes do not appear to be different in AD and HC, after stimulation with lipopolysaccharide, AD monocytes overexpressed ICAM-1 with respect to controls, suggesting that common pathways of monocyte activation and MDDC differentiation are altered in AD. Overall, these findings show that AD-linked dysregulated immune mechanisms exist, which lead to dendritic cell-mediated over-activation of inflammation and impaired antigen presentation, thus supporting the view that immune cell activation could play an important role in AD pathogenesis. © 2010 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved. Source

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