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By definition the neuroimmune system is comprised of the immune system and those components of the nervous system that modulate immune response. In practice, the neuroimmune system also includes hormonal signals and cytokines that participate in signalling between the immune and nervous systems.

Structure

See the article on the immune system for the structure the immune system.

The key components of the nervous system that interact with the immune system are:

  • Hypothalamus
  • Pituitary gland
  • Vagus nerve

The key components of the endocrine system that interact with the immune system are:

  • Adrenals

Signals

Hormonal signaling between the nervous system and immune system is provided by:

  • Corticosteriods

Cytokine signaling between the nervous system and immune system is provided by:

  • Opiods

Overview of Neuro-Immune Interactions

Cytokines regulate immune responses, possibly through activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

See also

Further reading

  • Berczi and Szentivanyi (2003) NeuroImmune Biology, Elsevier, ISBN 0-444-50851-1 (Written for the higly technical reader)
  • Sternberg (2001) The Balance Within, The Science Connecting Health and Emotions, Freeman, ISBN 0-7167-4445-7 (Written for the general public)



Nervous system

Brain - Spinal cord - Central nervous system - Peripheral nervous system - Somatic nervous system - Autonomic nervous system - Sympathetic nervous system - Parasympathetic nervous system

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