Innate and adaptive immunity in health and disease

Howard E. Gendelman, Eliezer Masliah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Neuroinflammatory processes play a significant role in health and disease of the nervous system. These regulate development, maintenance, and sustenance of brain cells and their connections. Linked to aging, epidemiologic, animal, human, and therapeutic studies all support the presence of a neuroinflammatory cascade in disease. This is highlighted by the neurotoxic potential of microglia. In steady state, microglia serve to protect the nervous system by acting as debris scavengers, killers of microbial pathogens, and regulators of innate and adaptive immune responses. In neurodegenerative diseases, activated microglia affect neuronal injury and death through production of glutamate, proinflammatory factors, reactive oxygen species, quinolinic acid amongst others and by mobilization of adaptive immune responses and cell chemotaxis leading to transendothelial migration of immunocytes across the blood-brain barrier and perpetuation of neural damage. As disease progresses, inflammatory secretions engage neighboring glial cells, including astrocytes and endothelial cells, resulting in a vicious cycle of autocrine and paracrine amplification of inflammation perpetuating tissue injury. Such pathogenic processes contribute to neurodegeneration. Research from others and our own laboratories seek to harness such inflammatory processes with the singular goal of developing therapeutic interventions that positively affect the tempo and progression of human disease (Crutcher et al., 2006).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeuroimmune Pharmacology
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)9780387725727
StatePublished - 2008


  • Innate and adaptive immunity
  • Neurodegenation, Synapse loss
  • Neuroinfl ammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Innate and adaptive immunity in health and disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this