Neuroimmunology and Neurotransmitters

Neuroimmunology is a field combining neuroscience, the study of the nervous system, and immunology, the study of the immune system. Neuroimmunologists seek to better understand the interactions of these two complex systems during development, homeostasis, and response to injuries. A long-term goal of this rapidly developing research area is to further develop our understanding of the pathology of certain neurological diseases, some of which have no clear etiology. In doing so, neuroimmunology contributes to development of new pharmacological treatments for several neurological conditions. Many types of interactions involve both the nervous and immune systems including the physiologicalfunctioning of the two systems in health and disease, malfunction of either and or both systems that leads to disorders, and the physical, chemical, and environmental stressors that affect the two systems on a daily basis.

Neurotransmitters are endogenous chemicals that enable neurotransmission. It is a type of chemical messenger which transmits signals across a chemical synapse, such as a neuromuscular junction, from one neuron (nerve cell) to another "target" neuron, muscle cell, or gland cell. Neurotransmitters are released from synaptic vesicles in synapses into the synaptic cleft, where they are received by neurotransmitter receptors on the target cells. Many neurotransmitters are synthesized from simple and plentiful precursors such as amino acids, which are readily available from the diet and only require a small number of biosynthetic steps for conversion. Neurotransmitters play a major role in shaping everyday life and functions. Their exact numbers are unknown, but more than 200 chemical messengers have been uniquely identified.

  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Neuroimmunological disorders
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Acute inflammatory polyneuropathy (Guillain-Barre syndrome)
  • Neurotransmitter receptors
  • Peptides and purines
  • Excitatory and inhibitory ways

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