Circulating IL-6 and CRP are associated with MRI findings in the elderly: The 3C-Dijon Study

C. L. Satizabal, Y. C. Zhu, B. Mazoyer, C. Dufouil, C. Tzourio
Neurology. 2012-02-22; 78(10): 720-727
DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318248e50f

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1. Neurology. 2012 Mar 6;78(10):720-7. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318248e50f. Epub 2012
Feb 22.

Circulating IL-6 and CRP are associated with MRI findings in the elderly: the
3C-Dijon Study.

Satizabal CL(1), Zhu YC, Mazoyer B, Dufouil C, Tzourio C.

Author information:
(1)INSERM U708 Neuroepidemiology, Bordeaux, Université Pierre et Marie Curie
Paris 6, Paris, France.

OBJECTIVE: The relation between inflammation and brain MRI findings in the
elderly remains poorly known. We investigated the association of circulating
interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels with baseline and
longitudinal white matter hyperintensities (WMH), silent brain infarction, and
brain volumes in community-dwelling elderly free of dementia.
METHODS: We included 1,841 participants aged 65 to 80 years from the Three
City-Dijon cohort. Participants followed an MRI examination at baseline and after
a 4-year follow-up (n = 1,316). IL-6 and CRP concentrations were measured at
baseline from fasting blood samples. WMH were detected with an automatic imaging
processing method and gray matter, hippocampal, white matter, and CSF volumes
were estimated with voxel-based morphometry. Silent brain infarctions were
assessed visually and defined as focal lesions of ≥3 mm in the absence of stroke.
We used analysis of covariance and logistic regression to model the associations
between inflammatory biomarkers and brain MRI findings adjusting for potential
RESULTS: In cross-sectional analyses, higher IL-6 levels were associated with
higher WMH volumes (p < 0.01), lower gray matter (p = 0.001) and hippocampal (p =
0.01) volumes, and increasing CSF volumes (p = 0.002) in a dose-relationship
pattern. Similar but weaker relations were observed for CRP. We observed no
associations between baseline inflammatory biomarker levels and the evolution of
MRI findings over 4 years.
CONCLUSIONS: IL-6, and, to a lesser degree, CRP levels were associated with WMH
severity as well as global markers of brain atrophy. These results suggest that
an inflammatory process may be involved in both age-associated brain alterations.

DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318248e50f
PMID: 22357713 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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