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Role of immune molecules in the establishment and plasticity of glutamatergic synapses


  • Lawrence Fourgeaud,

    1. Molecular Neurobiology Laboratories (MNL-L), The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA, USA
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  • Lisa M. Boulanger

    1. Department of Molecular Biology and Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University, 123 Lewis Thomas Laboratories, Washington Road, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
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Lisa M. Boulanger, as above.


An increasing number of studies support an unexpected role for immune molecules in regulating healthy brain functions during development and in adulthood. Here we review the roles of specific immune molecules (including cytokines, components of the complement cascade, and members of the major histocompatibility complex class I family and their receptors) in the formation and plasticity of glutamatergic synapses. These findings add a new dimension to our understanding of neural–immune interactions, and suggest novel molecular mechanisms that may underlie the modification of glutamatergic synapses in both normal and pathological states.