It is now well recognized that the brain, and especially the hypothalamus, plays an important role in the regulation of immune reactions and inflammation. This book aims to review our current state of knowledge of this important field. Key historical findings are presented, and the reciprocal interactions between the brain and the immune system are examined. Particular emphasis is placed on inflammation, a critical host defense reaction that serves as an effector response for both the adaptive and innate immune systems.
Mechanisms implicated in brain defense, as well as in more general host defense, are discussed. The regulatory influences of the brain on inflammatory responses are included with particular reference to the role of the hypothalamus, which is also the main director the hormonal regulation of immune/inflammatory. Gender-related differences in immune responsiveness, circadian modulator of immune responses, and evidence that behavioral conditioning (e.g. reward) of immune responses is possible are used as examples to reinforce the notion that the neuroendocrine system exerts a fundamental and complex regulatory influence on the immune system.
* Presents timely issues such as immunological aspects of the blood-brain-barrier and the role of inflammatory mediators in the evolution of strokes and degenerative diseases
* Includes analysis of the role of the brain in the adaptive responses to disease
* Evaluates the argument that further knowledge of the influence of the brain on the immune system will provide new insights to the pathophysiology infectious and autoimmune diseases
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I. INTRODUCTION; 1: The hypothalamus is the central organ of immunoregulation; II. DEVELOPMENT AND FUNCTION OF THE NEUROIMMUNE SYSTEM; 2: Leech Neuroimmune Signaling; 3: Morphogenesis of the Hypothalamus and Hypophysis; 4: A Novel Genus of Specialized Anti-Inflammatory and Pro-Resolution Lipid Mediators; 5: Neural and Non-Neural Stem Cells as Novel Therapeutic Modalities for Brain Injury; 6: The Role of the Toll-like Receptors in Neuropathology; 7: Cytokines and the Immune-Neuroendocrine Network; 8: Orexin Containing Neurons and the Immune System; 9: Central Pathways of Immunoregulation; 10: Brain Responses to Antigenic Challenges; III. IMMUNOREGULATION BY THE NERVOUS SYSTEM; 11: Immunoregulation by the Nervous System: Role of the Endocrine System; 12: Conditioning of Immune Reactions; 13: Gender Issues in Host Defense; IV. HOW THE BRAIN DEFENDS ITSELF; 14: Glial Cells in Brain Defense Mechanisms; 15: Immunologic Privilege and the Brain; 16: Immune Aspects of the Blood-Brain Barrier; 17: Neuroprotective Activities of CD4+CD25+ Regulatory T Cells; V. THE ROLE OF THE BRAIN IN HOST DEFENSE IN DISEASE STATES; 18: Fever as a Host Defense Mechanism; 19: Leukocytes as Mediator of Pain and Analgesia; 20: Tumor Necrosis Factor as Neuroinflammatory Mediator in Alzheimer's Disease and Stroke. Molecular Mechanisms and Neuroinflammatory Imaging; 21: Multiple Sclerosis and Depression
a Neuroimmunological Perspective; 22: Infection and Sepsis; 23: Restoration of Neuroimmune Disturbances in Rats by Extra High Frequency Electromagnetic Irradiation of the Skin