Affiliation: Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Duesseldorf (UKD), Moorenstr. 5, 40225 Duesseldorf, Germany.
Introduction: HIV-1 is regarded most responsible for a neurodegenerative disease, called HIV-associated dementia (HAD). The pathogenic trait of this severe complication of HIV-infection is still unclear, but disturbed systemic and central nervous system immune function seem to be an important component. Cytokines are important mediators of the human immune system. The review focusses on major cytokines and related immune modulators. Methods: For literature research, the PubMed library, Ovid, Cochrane database, Scirus and Google scholar were used. Results: The article discusses the importance of interferons, interleukins, chemokines, adhesion molecules, colony stimulating factors and tumor necrosis factors. Conclusion: The role of cytokines in the development to HAD is still not clear. Neither their diagnostical or therapeutical potentials nor the basic pathogenetic involvements are completely understood, but the importance of those molecules is evident.