Public Library of Science, PLoS ONE, 6(8), p. e66664
Although primarily a neurological complaint, systemic inflammation is present in Alzheimer's Disease, with higher than normal levels of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the periphery as well as the brain. A gradient of these factors may enhance recruitment of activated immune cells into the brain via chemotaxis. Here, we investigated the phenotypes of circulating immune cells in AD patients with multi-colour flow cytometry to determine whether their expression of chemokine receptors is consistent with this hypothesis. In this study, we confirmed our previously reported data on the shift of early- to late-differentiated CD4+ T-cells in AD patients. The percentage of cells expressing CD25, a marker of acute T-cell activation, was higher in patients than in age-matched controls, and percentages of CCR6+ cells were elevated. This chemokine receptor is primarily expressed on pro-inflammatory memory cells and Th17 cells. The proportion of cells expressing CCR4 (expressed on Th2 cells) and CCR5 (Th1 cells and dendritic cells) was also greater in patients, and was more pronounced on CD4+ than CD8+ T-cells. These findings allow a more detailed insight into the systemic immune status of patients with Alzheimer's disease and suggest possible novel targets for immune therapy.