The nervous and immune systems communicate and reciprocally influence their functional responses. Nature Immunology and Nature Neuroscience team up to present a joint focus issue comprising of specially commissioned review articles that examine how the nervous system and immune cells interact during development, during homeostasis and in pathogenic disease states.


Neuroimmune communication


Nature Immunology

Neuroimmune communication


Nature Neuroscience


Neuroimmune regulation during intestinal development and homeostasis

Henrique Veiga-Fernandes & Vassilis Pachnis


Nature Immunology

Enteric neurons and intestinal immune cells co-develop in response to common cues and communicate with each other to maintain organ function and host defense. Veiga-Fernandes and Pachnis review the importance of neuroimmune cell units in development, homeostasis and disease.

Interactions between the microbiome, immune and nervous systems in health and disease

Thomas C. Fung, Christine A. Olson and Elaine Y. Hsiao


Nature Neuroscience

The gut microbiota modulates immune cell function and has emerged as a regulator of brain development, function and behavior. In this review, Fung et al. discuss the relationship between the gut microbiota, nervous and immune systems in host physiology and neurological disease.

The movers and shapers in immune privilege of the CNS

Britta Engelhardt, Peter Vajkoczy & Roy O. Weller


Nature Immunology

Engelhardt and colleagues review the barrier anatomy that separates blood from cerebrospinal fluids and parenchymal CNS tissues and discuss how recent intravital microscopy has revised debate on the immune-privileged status of the CNS.

The role of peripheral immune cells in the CNS in steady state and disease

Marco Prinz & Josef Priller


Nature Neuroscience

Historically, the CNS was considered to be immunologically privileged and separated from the peripheral immune system. In this review, Marco Prinz and Josef Priller highlight recent advances in our understanding of how the CNS interacts with peripheral immune cells in the context of health and disease.

Neural regulation of immunity: molecular mechanisms and clinical translation

Valentin A. Pavlov and Kevin J. Tracey


Nature Neuroscience

Neural pathways regulate immune responses and inflammation. Recent research using technological advances in molecular genetics has provided important insights into the functional anatomy and cellular and molecular mechanisms of this regulation. These advances resulted in clinical trials exploring neuromodulation in the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.

Infectious immunity in the central nervous system and brain function

Robyn S. Klein, Charise Garber & Nicole Howard


Nature Immunology

Various neurotropic pathogens are capable of infecting CNS tissues. Klein and colleagues review how immune responses and inflammation in the CNS affect brain function and mental status.


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