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Physiologic modulation of natural killer cell activity as an index of Alzheimer's disease progression.

  • Author(s): Prolo, Paolo
  • Chiappelli, Francesco
  • Angeli, Alberto
  • Dovio, Andrea
  • Perotti, Paola
  • Pautasso, Marisa
  • Sartori, Maria Luisa
  • Saba, Laura
  • Mussino, Stefano
  • Fraccalini, Thomas
  • Fantó, Fausto
  • Mocellini, Cristina
  • Rosso, Maria Gabriella
  • Grasso, Enzo
  • et al.

Patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are characterized by an altered sensitivity to cortisol-mediated modulation of circulating lymphocytes. Longitudinal studies are needed to address the clinical applicability of these abnormalities as prognostic factors. Therefore, we designed a longitudinal study to address the clinical applicability of physiologic modulation of Natural Killer (NK) cell activity as a prognostic factor in AD. NK activity was assessed as baseline measurement and in response to modulation by cortisol at 10(-6)M. To verify the immunophysiological integrity of the NK cell population, we tested augmentation of NK cytotoxicity by human recombinant interleukin (IL)-2 (100 IU/ml) as control. The response to modulation by cortisol or by IL-2 was significantly greater in patients with AD. Based on change in the Mini-Mental State score at entry and at 18 months, patients with AD could be assigned to a "fast progression" (Delta > 2 points) or to a "slow progression" group (Delta

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