Peripheral and central immune system crosstalk in Alzheimer disease - a research prospectus (Équipe Dorothée)

September 16 - 2021

Brianne M. Bettcher, Malu G. Tansey, Guillaume Dorothée, Michael T. Heneka

Nat Rev Neurol. 2021

Dysregulation of the immune system is a cardinal feature of Alzheimer disease (AD), and a considerable body of evidence indicates that pathological alterations in central and peripheral immune responses that change over time. Considering AD as a systemic immune process raises important questions about how communication between the peripheral and central compartments occurs and whether this crosstalk represents a therapeutic target. We established a whitepaper workgroup to delineate the current status of the field and to outline a research prospectus for advancing our understanding of peripheral-central immune crosstalk in AD. To guide the prospectus, we begin with an overview of seminal clinical observations that suggest a role for peripheral immune dysregulation and peripheral-central immune communication in AD, followed by formative animal data that provide insights into possible mechanisms for these clinical findings. We then present a roadmap that defines important next steps needed to overcome conceptual and methodological challenges, opportunities for future interdisciplinary research, and suggestions for translating promising mechanistic studies into therapeutic interventions.

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