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Crit Rev Immunol. 1999;19(2):97-116.

Immune-derived cytokines in the nervous system: epigenetic instructive signals or neuropathogenic mediators?

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Department of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy.


The investigation of the effects of inflammatory cytokines (IC) on the growth and differentiation of neural cells has provided new insights on the role of such soluble mediators in nervous system development and/or plastic remodeling as well as in the pathogenesis of inflammatory neurodegenerative disorders, which are characterized by chronic IC dysregulation in the central nervous system (CNS). Thus, the study of the interaction between CNS and immune-derived soluble signals in physiological or pathological conditions is of increasing interest. This review first discusses experimental evidence supporting the instructive/permissive role of immune-derived cytokines on CNS development and plasticity. Next, we focus on human neurological disease states such as multiple sclerosis and the neurodegeneration associated to the acquired immune deficiency syndrome in which different inflammatory cytokines have been proposed as potential neuropathogenic mediators.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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