Current experimental and clinical evidences have bypassed the concept of the brain as an immune-privileged organ, and suggested a role of the immune system in brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases. In this perspective, the recent characterization of the CNS lymphatic system have open new opportunities to understand how the nervous and immune systems interact and crosstalk each other, in both physiological and pathological conditions.
Aim of Neuro-lymphatic Lab is to decipher the role of the adaptive immunity (T-cells) in the neurodegenerative processes, with a focus on the role of CNS lymphatic system in the neuro-immune interaction and on the mechanisms of macromolecules accumulation and clearance from the brain parenchyma.
We use several approaches to manipulate the immune and CNS lymphatic systems (e.g., transgenic mouse models, virus mediated gene transfer and pharmacological intervention), to analyze the phenotype of T-cells, their mechanisms of infiltration in the CNS and their interaction with brain- and meningeal-resident cells. Our strategy is focused on in-vivo studies using animal models of traumatic brain injury, migraine and neuronal hyperexcitability. A multimodal approach based on in-vivo imaging and electrophysiology, behavioral phenotyping and flow cytometry, in combination with cellular, molecular and histological techniques, let us to follow up the development and progression of the neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative processes in relation to the immune response.
Our research goal is to understand the basic mechanisms of neuro-immune interaction in neurodegenerative diseases, in order to unveil novel therapeutic targets and strategies.
Neuro-lymphatic Lab’s research is funded by Academy of Finland.