Neuroinflammation Associated With Inborn Errors of Immunity

Front Immunol. 2022 Jan 19:12:827815. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.827815. eCollection 2021.


The advent of high-throughput sequencing has facilitated genotype-phenotype correlations in congenital diseases. This has provided molecular diagnosis and benefited patient management but has also revealed substantial phenotypic heterogeneity. Although distinct neuroinflammatory diseases are scarce among the several thousands of established congenital diseases, elements of neuroinflammation are increasingly recognized in a substantial proportion of inborn errors of immunity, where it may even dominate the clinical picture at initial presentation. Although each disease entity is rare, they collectively can constitute a significant proportion of neuropediatric patients in tertiary care and may occasionally also explain adult neurology patients. We focus this review on the signs and symptoms of neuroinflammation that have been reported in association with established pathogenic variants in immune genes and suggest the following subdivision based on proposed underlying mechanisms: autoinflammatory disorders, tolerance defects, and immunodeficiency disorders. The large group of autoinflammatory disorders is further subdivided into IL-1β-mediated disorders, NF-κB dysregulation, type I interferonopathies, and hemophagocytic syndromes. We delineate emerging pathogenic themes underlying neuroinflammation in monogenic diseases and describe the breadth of the clinical spectrum to support decisions to screen for a genetic diagnosis and encourage further research on a neglected phenomenon.

Keywords: Mendelian genetic diseases; autoinflammatory disorders; familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (FHL); interferonopathies; interleukin-1; neuroinflammation; primary immunodeficiencies; type I interferon.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity
  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / complications*
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / diagnosis
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunity / genetics*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mutation
  • Neuroinflammatory Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Neuroinflammatory Diseases / etiology*
  • Phenotype


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators