Cytokine signals propagate through the brain

L. Vitkovic, J. P. Konsman, J. Bockaert, R. Dantzer, V. Homburger, C. Jacque

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

187 Scopus citations


Inteleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) are proinflammatory cytokines that are constitutively expressed in healthy, adult brain where they mediate normal neural functions such as sleep. They are neuromodulators expressed by and acting on neurons and glia. IL-1 and TNFα expression is upregulated in several important diseases/disorders. Upregulation of IL-1 and/or TNFα expression, elicited centrally or systemically, propagates through brain parenchyma following specific spatio-temporal patterns. We propose that cytokine signals propagate along neuronal projections and extracellular diffusion pathways by molecular cascades that need to be further elucidated. This elucidation is a prerequisite for better understanding of reciprocal interactions between nervous, endocrine and immune systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-615
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Brain
  • Cytokines
  • IL-1
  • Pathophysiology
  • TNFα

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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    Vitkovic, L., Konsman, J. P., Bockaert, J., Dantzer, R., Homburger, V., & Jacque, C. (2000). Cytokine signals propagate through the brain. Molecular psychiatry, 5(6), 604-615.