The Neuro-Immune Axis: Prospect for Novel Treatments for Mental Disorders

Authors

  • Aletta D. Kraneveld,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Pharmacology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    • Author of correspondence: Aletta D. Kraneveld, Division of Pharmacology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, Universiteitsweg 99, 3584 CG Utrecht, The Netherlands (fax: +31302537420, e-mail: a.d.kraneveld@uu.nl).

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  • Caroline G.M. de Theije,

    1. Division of Pharmacology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Floor van Heesch,

    1. Division of Pharmacology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Yuliya Borre,

    1. Division of Pharmacology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Sander de Kivit,

    1. Division of Pharmacology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Berend Olivier,

    1. Division of Pharmacology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Mechiel Korte,

    1. Division of Pharmacology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Johan Garssen

    1. Division of Pharmacology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Immunology Nutricia Research, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Abstract

Disturbed bidirectional pathways between the (central) nervous system and immune system have been implicated in various mental disorders, including depressive and neurodevelopmental disorders. In this minireview, the role of the neuro-immune axis and its targetability in relation to major depression and autism spectrum disorder will be discussed. All together, the management of these and possibly other multi-factorial mental disorders needs a new and integrated therapeutic approach. Pharmacologically bioactive molecules as well as medical nutrition targeting the (gut)–immune–brain axis could be such an approach.

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