The immune system and the central nervous system (CNS) are more alike than different. Much of the transport into and out of the CNS across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) follows the canonical paradigm seen in other organs, i.e. nutrients, water, and glucose comprising the bulk of influx, with metabolites and toxins moving in the other direction back into the circulation. The immune privilege of the brain is often thought to mean that the immune system simply ignores the brain except in situations of pathological disturbance. Evidence that T-cells are important in modulating the resolution of CNS neurodegeneration comes from other pathologies as well. Neuroinflammation is a hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and it has been thought that lymphocyte infiltration seen in ALS lesions was evidence of immune-mediated destruction of neurons, and initiated by T-cells.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Psychoneuroimmunology
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781118314814
ISBN (Print)9781119979517
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Blood-brain barrier (BBB)
  • Central nervous system (CNS)
  • Immune privilege
  • Immune system
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroinflammation
  • T-cells
  • Transport systems


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