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Neurogenic neuroinflammation: inflammatory CNS reactions in response to neuronal activity

Abstract

The CNS is endowed with an elaborated response repertoire termed 'neuroinflammation', which enables it to cope with pathogens, toxins, traumata and degeneration. On the basis of recent publications, we deduce that orchestrated actions of immune cells, vascular cells and neurons that constitute neuroinflammation are not only provoked by pathological conditions but can also be induced by increased neuronal activity. We suggest that the technical term 'neurogenic neuroinflammation' should be used for inflammatory reactions in the CNS in response to neuronal activity. We believe that neurogenic neuro-inflammation maintains homeostasis to enable the CNS to cope with enhanced metabolic demands and increases the computational power and plasticity of CNS neuronal networks. However, neurogenic neuroinflammation may also become maladaptive and aggravate the outcomes of pain, stress and epilepsy.

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Figure 1: Triggers, actions and outcomes of neuroinflammation.
Figure 2: Neuronal activity triggers neurogenic inflammation in peripheral tissues.
Figure 3: Neuronal activity triggers neurogenic neuroinflammation in the CNS.

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Acknowledgements

The work was supported in part by grants received by J.S. from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) (project W1205) and the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF). We thank H. Lassmann, Vienna, for useful discussions and helpful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.

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Xanthos, D., Sandkühler, J. Neurogenic neuroinflammation: inflammatory CNS reactions in response to neuronal activity. Nat Rev Neurosci 15, 43–53 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn3617

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