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Mol Brain. 2017 Jun 20;10(1):26. doi: 10.1186/s13041-017-0308-9.

Synaptoimmunology - roles in health and disease.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Rome Tor Vergata, 00133, Rome, Italy. robert.nistico@uniroma1.it.
2
Pharmacology of Synaptic Disease Lab, European Brain Research Institute, 00143, Rome, Italy. robert.nistico@uniroma1.it.
3
Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, and Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada.
4
Centre for Synaptic Plasticity, School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.
5
Pharmacology of Synaptic Disease Lab, European Brain Research Institute, 00143, Rome, Italy.
6
PROTECT, INSERM, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France.
7
Centre for the Developing Brain, King's College, St Thomas' Campus, London, UK.
8
Centre for Synaptic Plasticity, School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK. stephane.peineau@inserm.fr.
9
PROTECT, INSERM, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France. stephane.peineau@inserm.fr.
10
INSERM-ERi 24 (GRAP), Centre Universitaire de Recherche en Santé, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France. stephane.peineau@inserm.fr.

Abstract

Mounting evidence suggests that the nervous and immune systems are intricately linked. Many proteins first identified in the immune system have since been detected at synapses, playing different roles in normal and pathological situations. In addition, novel immunological functions are emerging for proteins typically expressed at synapses. Under normal conditions, release of inflammatory mediators generally represents an adaptive and regulated response of the brain to immune signals. On the other hand, when immune challenge becomes prolonged and/or uncontrolled, the consequent inflammatory response leads to maladaptive synaptic plasticity and brain disorders. In this review, we will first provide a summary of the cell signaling pathways in neurons and immune cells. We will then examine how immunological mechanisms might influence synaptic function, and in particular synaptic plasticity, in the healthy and pathological CNS. A better understanding of neuro-immune system interactions in brain circuitries relevant to neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders should provide specific biomarkers to measure the status of the neuroimmunological response and help design novel neuroimmune-targeted therapeutics.

KEYWORDS:

Immune system; Microglia; Nervous system; Neuroinflammation; Synaptic plasticity

PMID:
28637489
PMCID:
PMC5480158
DOI:
10.1186/s13041-017-0308-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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