Innate immunity at the crossroads of healthy brain maturation and neurodevelopmental disorders

Kristine E Zengeler, John R Lukens
Nature Reviews. Immunology 2021 January 21
The immune and nervous systems have unique developmental trajectories that individually build intricate networks of cells with highly specialized functions. These two systems have extensive mechanistic overlap and frequently coordinate to accomplish the proper growth and maturation of an organism. Brain resident innate immune cells - microglia - have the capacity to sculpt neural circuitry and coordinate copious and diverse neurodevelopmental processes. Moreover, many immune cells and immune-related signalling molecules are found in the developing nervous system and contribute to healthy neurodevelopment. In particular, many components of the innate immune system, including Toll-like receptors, cytokines, inflammasomes and phagocytic signals, are critical contributors to healthy brain development. Accordingly, dysfunction in innate immune signalling pathways has been functionally linked to many neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and schizophrenia. This review discusses the essential roles of microglia and innate immune signalling in the assembly and maintenance of a properly functioning nervous system.

Full Text Links

We have located links that may give you full text access.


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"