Immune System Cells

Reference work entry


In sum, neuroimmunology has progressed from studies looking at the detrimental roles of immune cells in neuroinflammation and their surveillance roles in the steady state, to exploring the complex and intricate balance of neuroimmune interactions. This chapter provides a descriptive level of analysis of four types of immune cells found in the brain – microglia, lymphocytes, dendritic cells and mast cells. With the exception of microglia, the presence of these cells in the brain is generally newly discovered and not yet well known. The classic role of these immune cells may in some instances provide insight into possible roles in the brain. In other cases, it is readily apparent that these immune cells take on additional roles when resident in the brain. While this chapter is not meant to be an exhaustive account of all immune processes in the brain, its aim is to provide an account of the current knowledge of major immunological cells in the brain. The goal is to describe their functions that are both in keeping with their traditional roles, as well as to elucidate novel and brain-specific roles that have been recently discovered.


Dendritic Cell Mast Cell Adult Neurogenesis Hippocampal Neurogenesis Hygiene Hypothesis 
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Further Reading

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  7. Ziv Y, Ron N, Butovsky O, Landa G, Sudai E, Greenberg N, Cohen H, Kipnis J, Schwartz M (2006) Immune cells contribute to the maintenance of neurogenesis and spatial learning abilities in adulthood. Nat Neurosci 9(2):268–275PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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