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Modeling the neuroimmune system in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

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Balestri, Wendy 
Sharma, Ruchi 
da Silva, Victor A 
Bobotis, Bianca C 


Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are neurodegenerative disorders caused by the interaction of genetic, environmental, and familial factors. These diseases have distinct pathologies and symptoms that are linked to specific cell populations in the brain. Notably, the immune system has been implicated in both diseases, with a particular focus on the dysfunction of microglia, the brain's resident immune cells, contributing to neuronal loss and exacerbating symptoms. Researchers use models of the neuroimmune system to gain a deeper understanding of the physiological and biological aspects of these neurodegenerative diseases and how they progress. Several in vitro and in vivo models, including 2D cultures and animal models, have been utilized. Recently, advancements have been made in optimizing these existing models and developing 3D models and organ-on-a-chip systems, holding tremendous promise in accurately mimicking the intricate intracellular environment. As a result, these models represent a crucial breakthrough in the transformation of current treatments for PD and AD by offering potential for conducting long-term disease-based modeling for therapeutic testing, reducing reliance on animal models, and significantly improving cell viability compared to conventional 2D models. The application of 3D and organ-on-a-chip models in neurodegenerative disease research marks a prosperous step forward, providing a more realistic representation of the complex interactions within the neuroimmune system. Ultimately, these refined models of the neuroimmune system aim to aid in the quest to combat and mitigate the impact of debilitating neuroimmune diseases on patients and their families.


Acknowledgements: This collaboration was supported by the Stem Cell Network and the Medical Research Council through the “MRC-SCN UK–Canada Regenerative Medicine Exchange Program Awards” (MR/X503125/1). We also thank Nottingham Trent University and the University of Victoria for hosting the research exchange.


Alzheimer’s disease, Inflammation, Modeling, Neurodegenerative diseases, Neuroimmune system, Parkinson’s disease, Animals, Humans, Parkinson Disease, Alzheimer Disease, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Immune System, Microglia

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J Neuroinflammation

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
MRC (via King's College London) (RE15119)