Cytokines and CNS Development

Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard M/C 216-76, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.
Neuron (Impact Factor: 15.05). 10/2009; 64(1):61-78. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.09.002
Source: PubMed


Cytokines are pleotrophic proteins that coordinate the host response to infection as well as mediate normal, ongoing signaling between cells of nonimmune tissues, including the nervous system. As a consequence of this dual role, cytokines induced in response to maternal infection or prenatal hypoxia can profoundly impact fetal neurodevelopment. The neurodevelopmental roles of individual cytokine signaling pathways are being elucidated through gain- and loss-of-function studies in cell culture and model organisms. We review this work with a particular emphasis on studies where cytokines, their receptors, or components of their signaling pathways have been altered in vivo. The extensive and diverse requirements for properly regulated cytokine signaling during normal nervous system development revealed by these studies sets the foundation for ongoing and future work aimed at understanding how cytokines induced normally and pathologically during critical stages of fetal development alter nervous system function and behavior later in life.

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    • "Thus, increases in maternal interleukin-6 (IL-6) alter many parameters that influence fetal growth, such as nutrient transfer, anoxia, and vascular permeability (Desai et al., 2002; Kendall and Peebles, 2005). Furthermore, IL-6 can act directly on progenitor cells to regulate fetal neurogenesis and gliogenesis (Deverman and Patterson, 2009). IL-1, IL-2, and IL-6 also influence the release of monoamines in the hippocampus and other brain regions (Libbey et al., 2005). "
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    • "This complicates elucidating the site where the cytokines act upon to potentially alter brain development since they can act directly on neural progenitors and neurons ( Bauer et al . , 2007 ; Deverman and Patterson , 2009 ) . For example , IL - 6 and LIF can influence the differentiation of neural progenitor cells ( Nakanishi et al . "
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