Neuroimmunology was once referred to in terms of its pathological connotation only and was generally understood as covering the deleterious involvement of the immune system in various diseases and disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). However, our conception of the function of the immune system in the structure, function, and plasticity of the CNS has undergone a sea change after relevant discoveries over the past two decades, and continues to be challenged by more recent studies of neurodevelopment and cognition. This review summarizes the recent advances in understanding of immune-system participation in the development and functioning of the CNS under physiological conditions. Considering as an example Rett syndrome a devastating neurodevelopmental disease, we offer a hypothesis that might help to explain the part played by immune cells in its etiology, and hence suggests that the immune system might be a feasible therapeutic target for alleviation of some of the symptoms of this and other autism spectrum disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Immune system
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Protective immunity
  • Rett syndrome
  • T cells


Dive into the research topics of 'Rett syndrome and other autism spectrum disordersbrain diseases of immune malfunction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this