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Aging and disease    2019, Vol. 10 Issue (2) : 463-469     DOI: 10.14336/AD.2018.0329
Short Communications |
Increased Serum C-reactive Protein and Corpus Callosum Alterations in Older Adults
Fabienne Cyprien1,2, Philippe Courtet1,2, Jerome Maller3, Chantal Meslin4, Karen Ritchie1, Marie-Laure Ancelin1, Sylvaine Artero1,*
1INSERM, Univ Montpellier, Neuropsychiatry, Epidemiological and Clinical Research, Montpellier, France.
2CHU Montpellier, F-34095, France.
3Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Central Clinical School, Monash University and Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.
4Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing, Research School of Population Health, ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
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Chronic systemic low-grade inflammation is associated with aging, but little is known on whether age-related inflammation affects brain structure, particularly white matter. The current study tested the hypothesis that in older adults without dementia, higher serum levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) are associated with reduced corpus callosum (CC) areas. French community-dwelling subjects (ESPRIT study) aged 65 and older (N=101) underwent hs-CRP testing and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Multiple linear regression models were carried out. In the unadjusted model, higher hs-CRP level was significantly associated with smaller anterior, mid, and total midsagittal CC areas, but not with the posterior CC area. These associations were independent of demographic characteristics and intracranial volume. After adjustment for body mass index, diabetes, inflammation-related chronic pathologies and white matter lesions (WML), only the associations between hs-CRP level and smaller anterior and total midsagittal CC areas were still significant, although weaker. These findings suggest that low-grade inflammation is associated with CC structural integrity alterations in older adults independently of physical or neuropsychiatric pathologies.

Keywords corpus callosum      C-reactive protein      magnetic resonance imaging      older people      inflammation     
Corresponding Authors: Artero Sylvaine   
About author:

Currently address: Department of Neurology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Issue Date: 24 January 2018
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Fabienne Cyprien
Philippe Courtet
Jerome Maller
Chantal Meslin
Karen Ritchie
Marie-Laure Ancelin
Sylvaine Artero
Cite this article:   
Fabienne Cyprien,Philippe Courtet,Jerome Maller, et al. Increased Serum C-reactive Protein and Corpus Callosum Alterations in Older Adults[J]. Aging and disease, 2019, 10(2): 463-469.
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Demographical/Clinical characteristics
Participants, n101
Women, %54.5
Age, years (mean ± SD [min-max])71.4 ± 4.1 (65-80)
Education level, % (n)
 No formal education or primary school22.8 (23)
 Lower secondary education28.7 (29)
 Higher secondary education24.8 (25)
 University degree23.8 (24)
MMSEa, median (IQR)27 (3)
Depressive symptomatologyb, % (n)22.8 (23)
Current or former smoker, % (n)46.5 (46)
Alcohol consumptionc, % (n)40.6 (41)
Body Mass Indexd, kg/m2 (mean ± SD [range])24.4 ± 3.3 (18.0-32.2)
History of cardiovascular diseasee, % (n)5.0 (5)
Hypertensionf, % (n)45.5 (46)
Diabetesg, % (n)4.0 (4)
Hypercholesterolemiah, % (n)50.5 (51)
Inflammation-related chronic pathologiesi, % (n)29.7 (30)
C-reactive protein, mg/L (mean ± SD [range])2.6 ± 0.2 (0.2-9.2)
Structural imaging
Corpus callosum areas, mm2 (mean ± SD)
 Anterior220.4 ± 4.0
 Mid136.2 ± 3.0
 Posterior237.6 ± 3.9
 Total area594.1 ± 9.5
Intracranial volume, cm3 (mean ± SD)1207.6 ± 14.5
White matter lesions volume, mm3 [median (IQR)]0.90 (2.8)
Table 1  Characteristics of the study population.
Corpus callosum regionmodel 1
model 2
model 3
βStandard errorpβStandard errorpβStandard errorp
Anterior area-0.3020.0010.002-0.3720.0010.001-.3030.0010.003
Mid area-0.2570.0010.010-0.2720.0010.010-.1820.0010.054
Posterior area-0.1370.0010.171-0.1530.0010.151-.0980.0010.291
Mid-sagittal total area-0.268<0.00010.007-0.311<0.00010.004-.228<0.00010.020
Table 2  Association of serum hs-CRP level with corpus callosum area.
Figure 1.  Slopes showing the association between log hs-CRP serum level and the anterior, mid, posterior corpus callosum (CC) areas (unadjusted).
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