2004 suplement 1

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Volume 13, suplement 1

Brain immunology

The inflammatory reaction in neurodegenerative disorders – detrimental or neuroprotective?

IWONA KURKOWSKA-JASTRZĘBSKA1, Ewa Bałkowiec-Iskra2, ANDRZEJ CZŁONKOWSKI2, Anna Członkowska1
1. II Kliniki Neurologii, Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawa
2. Katedry Farmakologii Doświadczalnej i Klinicznej Akademii Medycznej w Warszawie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 2004, 13, suplement 1 (17), 61-71
Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, MPTP, immunoprotection
Abstract

Aim. To present an essential role of inflammatory processes in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.

Review. Neurodegenerative processes in the central nervous system (CNS) are typically associated with microglial activation, astrogliosis and increased expression of inflammatory molecules. The presence of activated microglia and T lymphocytes, as well as an elevated expression of complement proteins and a variety of cytokines have been reported in Alzheimer s and Parkinson's diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other neurological disorders. However, the role of inflammation in the CNS is still far from clear. Some research findings indicate that prevention of inflammatory reaction development reduces the damage to nervous cells, while other data suggest it has an opposite, destructive effect, resulting either in the nervous tissue accelerated degeneration or in hampering of its regeneration. A particular role in the immunological response regulation is ascribed mainly to T CD4+ lymphocytes considered to be responsible for the observed effect of protective inflammation. Interestingly, T lymphocytes, by means of trophic factors production, can protect neurons and stimulate their regeneration. However; T lymphocytes il1flux in to CNS is limited by mechanisms protecting the organism against autoimmune disease development. The possibility of reducing this limitation by proper vaccination with myelin proteins or by administration of activated T lymphocytes is being intensely studied.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Iwona Kurkowska-Jastrzębska,
II Klinika Neurologii Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii,
ul. Sobieskiego 9,
02-957 Warszawa