Alzheimer disease (AD), vascular dementia, and stroke are all associated with inflammation though their respective initiating factors differ. Recently a polymorphism in the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF), in association with apolipoprotein E (APOE), was reported to increase AD risk. Two SNPs, rs1799724 (-850C > T, NT-007592.14:g.22400733C > T) and rs1800629 (-308G > A; [NT-007592.14: g.22401282G > A]), and the APOE polymorphism were genotyped in 506 patients with sporadic AD and in 277 cognitively healthy controls. In a subset of 90 individuals we also investigated whether these SNPs exerted any functional effects on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) beta amyloid (A beta) levels. The frequency of the rs1799724 genotypes and the rs1799724-T allele were significantly different in AD individuals (P=0.009; odds ratio [OR], 1.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13-2.34), while the rs1800629 SNP was not associated with AD. Significant interaction was observed between the rs 1799724-T and APOE epsilon 4 alleles in that the rs 1799724-T allele significantly modified risk associated with possession of the E4 allele only (E4 in absence of rs 1799724-T. OR, 2.92; 95% CI, 2.00-4.27; epsilon 4 in presence of rs1799724-T- OR, 6.65; 95% CI, 3.26-13.55; P=0.03). Haplotyping analysis revealed a significant overrepresentation of an rs1799724-T/rs1800629-G haplotype in AD (P=0.012; OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.11-2.29), although to a lesser degree than rs1799724-Talone. Further, the rs1799724-Tallele was found to be associated with lower levels of CSF A beta 42 (P=0.023), thus corroborating the genetic findings. Inheritance of the rsl799724-T allele appears to synergistically increase the risk of AD in APOE E4 carriers and is associated with altered CSF A beta 42 levels. Further investigations are warranted to assess the significance of these novel findings. Hum Mutat 26(l), 29-35, 2005. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.