The nervous system and the immune system are two main regulators of homeostasis in the body. Communication between them ensures normal functioning of the organism. Immune cells and molecules are required for sculpting the circuitry and determining the activity of the nervous system. Within the parenchyma of the central nervous system (CNS), microglia constantly monitor synapses and participate in their pruning during development and possibly also throughout life. Classical inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), are released during neuronal activity and play a crucial role in regulating the strength of synaptic transmission. Systemically, proper functioning of the immune system is critical for maintaining normal nervous system function. Disruption of the immune system functioning leads to impairments in cognition and in neurogenesis. In this review we provide examples of the communication between the nervous and the immune systems in the interest of normal CNS development and function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-606
Number of pages6
JournalLearning and Memory
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013


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