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How does immunity at the brain border affect brain health and function?


This webinar from our Regional & Affinity Group series is brought to you by the BSI London Immunology Group. This session will be presented by Dr Jonathan Kipnis and will take place on Thursday 16 July, 16:00-16:45 BST.

Register now to explore the enigmatic interactions between T cells and the brain. Dr Kipnis will showcase new research on the role of the lymphatic and central nervous systems in immune response and activity around the brain.

This webinar is free for all BSI members. Non-members will be charged £10. You can join the BSI online - membership provides many benefits to help you progress your career. Undergraduate membership is free.

Speaker: Dr Jonathan Kipnis PhD, BJC Investigator, Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Immunology, Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience and Neurosurgery, Washington University School of Medicine in St.Louis.

Immune cells and their derived molecules have major impact on brain function. Mice deficient in adaptive immunity have impaired cognitive and social function compared to that of wild-type mice. Importantly, replenishment of the T cell compartment in immune deficient mice restored proper brain function. We have identified several key T cell-derived cytokines that mediate the effect. Despite the robust influence on brain function, T cells are not found within the brain parenchyma, a fact that only adds more mystery into these enigmatic interactions between T cells and the brain.

Our results suggest that meningeal space surrounding the brain is the site where CNS-associated immune activity takes place. We have recently discovered a presence of meningeal lymphatic vessels that drain CNS molecules and immune cells to the deep cervical lymph nodes and also regulate perfusion of the brain by CSF (glymphatic flow). This communication between the CNS and meninges is playing a key role in several neurological and psychiatric disorders and, therefore, may serve as a novel therapeutic target that is worth in-depth mechanistic exploration. Understanding trafficking of molecules between CNS compartment is one of the frontiers in neurophysiology and recent advances will be discussed.

The BSI Regional & Affinity Group webinar series is supported by Miltenyi Biotec.