CNS-specific T cells shape brain function via the choroid plexus

Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Nov;34:11-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2013.04.002. Epub 2013 Apr 15.


Adaptive immunity was repeatedly shown to play a role in maintaining lifelong brain function. Under physiological conditions, this activity was associated with CD4+ T cells specific for brain self-antigens. Nevertheless, direct interactions of T cells with the healthy neuronal parenchyma are hardly detectable. Recent studies have identified the brain's choroid plexus (CP) as an active neuro-immunological interface, enriched with CNS-specific CD4+ T cells. Strategically positioned for receiving signals from both the central nervous system (CNS) through the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and from the circulation through epithelium-immune cell interactions, the CP has recently been recognized as an important immunological compartment in maintaining and restoring brain homeostasis/allostasis. Here, we propose that CNS-specific T cells shape brain function via the CP, and suggest this immunological control to be lost as part of aging, in general, and immune senescence, in particular. Accordingly, the CP may serve as a novel target for immunomodulation to restore brain equilibrium.

Keywords: Blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier; CNS-specific T cells; Choroid plexus; Cognitive function; Immunomodulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / immunology
  • Animals
  • Brain / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Choroid Plexus / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Mice