Acetyl Cholinesterase Inhibitors and Cell-Derived Peripheral Inflammatory Cytokines in Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease

Nikolaos Kokras, Evangelia Stamouli, Ioannis Sotiropoulos, Everina A. Katirtzoglou, Kostas T. Siarkos, Georgia Dalagiorgou, Krystallenia I. Alexandraki, Stavroula Coulocheri, Christina Piperi, Antonios M. Politis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background Clinical and preclinical studies firmly support the involvement of the inflammation in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Despite acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEI) being widely used in AD patients, there is no conclusive evidence about their impact on the inflammatory response. Methods This study investigates peripheral proinflammatory cytokines (interferon gamma [IFN-γ], tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α], and interleukins 1β [IL-1β] and 6 [IL-6]) by firstly comparing peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-derived secretion in drug-naïve and AChEI-treated AD patients versus healthy controls. A subset of those drug-naïve AD patients, who were prescribed the AChEI donepezil, was followed-up for 6 months to investigate if donepezil suppresses proinflammatory cell-derived cytokine secretion. Results Patients with AD showed higher levels of PBMC-derived proinflammatory cytokines (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6) in comparison with healthy controls. On reexamination, previously drug-naïve AD patients who received donepezil treatment for 6 months displayed a decrease in cell-derived IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6. Conclusions Proinflammatory PBMC-derived cytokines were increased in patients with AD in comparison with healthy controls and donepezil-reduced proinflammatory cytokines when examining drug-naïve AD patients before and after AChEI treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical psychopharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • anticholinesterase inhibitors
  • cytokines
  • donepezil
  • inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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