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J Clin Invest. 2012 Apr;122(4):1156-63. doi: 10.1172/JCI58656. Epub 2012 Apr 2.

The immunology of neurodegeneration.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5489, USA.


While immune responses in neurodegeneration were regarded as little more than a curiosity a decade ago, they are now increasingly moving toward center stage. Factors driving this movement include the recognition that most of the relevant immune molecules are produced within the brain, that microglia are proficient immune cells shaping neuronal circuitry and fate, and that systemic immune responses affect brain function. We will review this complex field from the perspective of neurons, extra-neuronal brain cells, and the systemic environment and highlight the possibility that cell intrinsic innate immune molecules in neurons may function in neurodegenerative processes.

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