The Impact of an Imbalance Between Proinflammatory and Anti-inflammatory Influences on Synaptic function in the Aged Brain

  • Marina Lynch

There is now a significant body of evidence indicating that, with age, the brain is exposed to a number of stresses. One of these is a decrease in the concentration of antiinflammatory cytokines that exert significant neuroprotective effects. On the basis of recent findings, it seems reasonable to propose that among the most critical neuroprotective effects of IL-4 and IL-10 is maintenance of microglia in a quiescent state, preventing excessive release of proinflammatory cytokines like IL-1μ, which have been shown to negative impact on hippocampal plasticity. It must therefore be concluded that it is an imbalance between proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines that leads to age-related deficits in synaptic function and that strategies that restore the balance are likely to be beneficial in reducing the deterioration of function that accompanies age.


Proinflammatory Cytokine Microglial Activation Free Radical Theory Eicosapentanoic Acid Hippocampal Concentration 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina Lynch
    • 1
  1. 1.Dep. PhysiolTrinity CollegeIreland

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