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J Immunol. 2020 Jan 15;204(2):243-250. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1900844.

A 20-Year Journey from Axonal Injury to Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Prospect of Immunotherapy for Combating Alzheimer's Disease.

Author information

1
Klarman Cell Observatory, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02142; and michal.schwartz@weizmann.ac.il.
2
Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 7610001, Israel.

Abstract

The understanding of the dialogue between the brain and the immune system has undergone dramatic changes over the last two decades, with immense impact on the perception of neurodegenerative diseases, mental dysfunction, and many other brain pathologic conditions. Accumulated results have suggested that optimal function of the brain is dependent on support from the immune system, provided that this immune response is tightly controlled. Moreover, in contrast to the previous prevailing dogma, it is now widely accepted that circulating immune cells are needed for coping with brain pathologies and that their optimal effect is dependent on their type, location, and activity. In this perspective, we describe our own scientific journey, reviewing the milestones in attaining this understanding of the brain-immune axis integrated with numerous related studies by others. We then explain their significance in demonstrating the possibility of harnessing the immune system in a well-controlled manner for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

PMID:
31907265
DOI:
10.4049/jimmunol.1900844

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