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Molecular mechanisms and therapeutic relevance of neuro-immune communication: Reciprocal interactions between the immune system and nervous system

New Content ItemEdited by Sangeeta Chavan, Niccolò Terrando, and Colin Reardon 

The immune system and the nervous system serve as the principal sensory interfaces by recognizing threats to the host present in the environment, mounting a protective response, and developing memories leading to learned or adaptive future responses. Recent insights into the reciprocal interactions between the immune system and nervous system have attracted significant attention regarding the role of neuro-immune communication in a number of diseases.

Inflammatory conditions and non-resolving chronic inflammation induce alterations in neuronal function, resulting in a constellation of behavioral consequences referred to as sickness behavior that include cognitive dysfunction, fatigue, sleep impairment, depression, anxiety, psychomotor slowing, and anorexia. In patients with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, the behavior effects of cytokines, antibodies, and other inflammatory mediators may contribute to the development of clinically relevant neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety, and cognitive dysfunction.

The nervous system regulates inflammation, and innate and adaptive immune responses. In addition, peripheral neural circuits also play a key role in regulating hematopoiesis. Recent studies have revealed several neuro-immunoregulatory circuits that are organized by principles of reflex regulation. Neural circuits modulate immune responses by detecting inflammatory mediators and relaying signals back to the immune system. Mechanistic insights into neuro-immune communication and the neural circuits that regulate immunity have paved the way for recent successful clinical trials.

This thematic series calls for submissions focusing on the molecular mechanisms at the interface between the immune and nervous systems in health and disease and the therapeutic exploration of this insight. It will also cover emerging areas such as the neuronal regulation of hematopoiesis and innate and adaptive immunity. It welcomes contributions of any of the following article types: Original Research Article, Perspective, Review, Mini-review, Opinion, covering, but not limited to, the following topics:  

  • neuroimmune mediators in hematopoiesis
  • neuro-immune interaction in homeostasis and disease
  • neuro-immune interaction during neuronal development
  • neural control of innate and adaptive immunity
  • molecular mechanisms underlying development of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders
  • single cell maps and networks in neuroimmune communication

Series keywords: neuroinflammation; cytokines; resolution of inflammation; vagus; acetylcholine; cognition; microglia; neuro-immune; inflammation; gut-brain; neurostimulation

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

You can submit to this series, here.