Crossing borders in Alzheimer's disease: A T cell's perspective

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2022 Sep:188:114398. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2022.114398. Epub 2022 Jun 30.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia affecting millions of people worldwide. While different immunotherapies are imminent, currently only disease-modifying medications are available and a cure is lacking. Over the past decade, immunological interfaces of the central nervous system (CNS) and their role in neurodegenerative diseases received increasing attention. Specifically, emerging evidence shows that subsets of circulating CD8+ T cells cross the brain barriers and associate with AD pathology. To gain more insight into how the adaptive immune system is involved in disease pathogenesis, we here provide a comprehensive overview of the contribution of T cells to AD pathology, incorporating changes at the brain barriers. In addition, we review studies that provide translation of these findings by targeting T cells to combat AD pathology and cognitive decline. Importantly, these data show that immunological changes in AD are not confined to the CNS and that AD-associated systemic immune changes appear to affect brain homeostasis.

Keywords: Adaptive immunity; Alzheimer’s Disease; Brain Barriers; Dementia; Neuroinflammation; T cells; Therapeutics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease*
  • Brain
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immune System / pathology