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BioLegend Neuroinflammation
A variety of challenges to the brain can cause inflammation of nervous tissue. The central nervous system (CNS) has classically been considered a privileged immune site, due to the blood brain barrier (BBB) preventing access to most circulating peripheral leukocytes and inflammatory factors. Though the brain is still considered a unique immune environment, a degree of immune surveillance does occur within the meningeal spaces1. In some instances, pro-inflammatory events in the CNS can harm neurons. Additionally, recent evidence has emerged that the CNS has its own lymphatic system that connects cerebrospinal fluid to deep cervical lymph nodes through cells that closely resemble lymphatic endothelial cells2, indicating that the immune system plays a central role in neuronal repair.

1. Ransohoff RM, et al. 2012. Nat Rev Immunol. Sep;12(9):623-35.
2. Louveau A, et al. 2015. Nature. doi:10.1038/nature14432.

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Neuronal Injury Pathways of Inflammation Microglial Activation Products

The BBB is a selective permeable barrier that regulates the transport of immune cells between the CNS and circulating blood. Resident glial cells perform basic housekeeping immune functions. However, neuronal damage can compromise the BBB, resulting in the influx of pro-inflammatory immune cells that could lead to neurodegeneration that is associated with disorders including age-related dementias such as Alzheimer's and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Additional sources of neuronal injury include infection, autoimmunity, toxic metabolites, and metastatic tumors.

Neuronal Injury
Click on the endothelial cells of the blood brain barrier to induce a neuronal injury.
Central Nervous System         Blood Brain BarrierPeriphery
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