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Trends Mol Med. 2017 Mar;23(3):227-245. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2017.01.004. Epub 2017 Feb 7.

Immune Regulation of Antibody Access to Neuronal Tissues.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. Electronic address:


This review highlights recent advances in how the innate and adaptive immune systems control the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the blood-nerve barrier (BNB). Interferons and TAM receptors play key roles in innate immune control of the BBB. Cells of the adaptive immune system, particularly CD4+ T cells, take distinct routes to enter neural tissues and mediate immune surveillance. Furthermore, T cell-mediated opening of the BBB and the BNB is crucial to allow antibody access and thereby block the replication of neurotropic viruses. Such novel insights gained from basic research provide key foundations for future design of therapeutic strategies - enabling antibody access to the brain may be key to cancer immunotherapy and to the use of vaccines against neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.

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