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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2011, Article ID 949072, 10 pages
Review Article

Cross-Talk between Apolipoprotein E and Cytokines

1Department of Neurology, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Jilin University, 130021 Changchun, China
2Division of Neurodegeneration and Neuroinflammation, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institute, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Novum, plan 5, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden

Received 13 March 2011; Accepted 2 May 2011

Academic Editor: Steven Kunkel

Copyright © 2011 Hongliang Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Apolipoprotein E (apoE) is a multifunctional glycosylated protein characterized by its wide tissue distribution. Despite its importance in lipid transport and atherosclerosis pathogenesis, apoE is associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson disease, and autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and psoriasis. Among others, the role of apoE in modulating inflammation and oxidation is crucial in elucidating the risk factors of the above diseases since the function of apoE is closely linked with both proinflammatory and antiinflammatory cytokines. Moreover, apoE modulates inflammatory and immune responses in an isoform-dependent manner. Correspondingly, inflammatory cytokines can either upregulate or downregulate the production of apoE in various tissue types. However, studies on the interactions between apoE and cytokines occasionally yield conflicting results, highlighting the complex roles of apoE and cytokines in various disorders. The present paper summarizes the current knowledge about the cross-talk between apoE and cytokines, with emphasis on the effects of apoE on the Th1/Th2 balance.