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Enduring neuroimmunological consequences of developmental experiences: from vulnerability to resilience

Reddaway, Jack and Brydges, Nichola M. 2020. Enduring neuroimmunological consequences of developmental experiences: from vulnerability to resilience. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 109 , 103567. 10.1016/j.mcn.2020.103567

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The immune system is crucial for normal neuronal development and function (neuroimmune system). Both immune and neuronal systems undergo significant postnatal development and are sensitive to developmental programming by environmental experiences. Negative experiences from infection to psychological stress at a range of different time points (in utero to adolescence) can permanently alter the function of the neuroimmune system: given its prominent role in normal brain development and function this dysregulation may increase vulnerability to psychiatric illness. In contrast, positive experiences such as exercise and environmental enrichment are protective and can promote resilience, even restoring the detrimental effects of negative experiences on the neuroimmune system. This suggests the neuroimmune system is a viable therapeutic target for treatment and prevention of psychiatric illnesses, especially those related to stress. In this review we will summarise the main cells, molecules and functions of the immune system in general and with specific reference to central nervous system development and function. We will then discuss the effects of negative and positive environmental experiences, especially during development, in programming the long-term functioning of the neuroimmune system. Finally, we will review the sparse but growing literature on sex differences in neuroimmune development and response to environmental experiences.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1044-7431
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 13 October 2020
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 00:45

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