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Brain Behav Immun. 2008 Feb;22(2):167-76. Epub 2007 Oct 1.

Immune-based regulation of adult neurogenesis: implications for learning and memory.

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Department of Neurobiology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100 Rehovot, Israel.


Neurogenesis, the formation of new neurons from stem/progenitor cells, occurs in the hippocampal dentate gyrus throughout life. Although the exact function of adult hippocampal neurogenesis is currently unknown, recent studies suggest that the newly formed neuronal population plays an important role in hippocampal-dependent cognitive abilities, including declarative memory. The process of adult neurogenesis is greatly influenced by the interaction between cells of the adaptive immune system and CNS-resident immune cells. Our laboratory has recently demonstrated that immune cells contribute to maintaining life-long hippocampal neurogenesis. The regulation of such immune-cell activity is crucial: too little immune activity (as in immune deficiency syndromes) or too much immune activity (as in severe inflammatory diseases) can lead to impaired hippocampal neurogenesis, which could then result in impaired hippocampal-dependent cognitive abilities. From these converging discoveries arise a mechanism that can explain one route by which our body affects our mind.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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