Newly discovered subset of brain cells fight inflammation with instructions from the gut

Astrocytes are the most abundant type of cells within the central nervous system (CNS), but they remain poorly characterized. Researchers have long assumed that astrocytes’ primary function is to provide nutrients and support for the brain’s more closely scrutinized nerve cells; over the years, however, increasing evidence has shown that astrocytes can also actively promote neurodegeneration, inflammation, and neurological diseases.

Immune cells found in the brain are behind the depression experienced in inflammation

Special immune cells found in the brain, microglia, play a key role in the processes that make you feel uneasy and depressed in correlation with inflammation. This is the conclusion of a study using mice. The results suggest that microglial cells contribute to the negative mood experienced during several neurological diseases, and maybe also depression.

Fine tuning first-responder immune cells may reduce TBI damage

Immediately after a traumatic brain injury and as long as one year later, there are increased levels of immune cells called ILCs in the brain promoting inflammation, which can worsen brain damage, scientists report. They also report for the first time that the cell energy sensor AMPK is a brake that can stop what becomes a chronic state of destructive inflammation driven by these ILCs, or innate lymphoid cells.

Developmental origins of eczema and psoriasis discovered

Scientists have created a highly detailed map of skin, which reveals that cellular processes from development are re-activated in cells from patients with eczema and psoriasis inflammatory skin diseases. The study offers potential new drug targets for treating these painful skin diseases and provides a new understanding of inflammatory disease. The research could also provide a template for regenerating healthy skin in the laboratory.