In Vitro and In Vivo Assessment of Immune System Modulation of Brain Function and Neurochemistry

Michael O. Poulter, Zul Merali

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter focuses on some of the methods currently available to study neural-immune interactions. Specifically, it considers methods that allow us to assess how an immune challenge may come to influence the neurochemistry of the brain and how nerve cell activity is modified by immune system signaling. This description will, hopefully, serve as an introduction to these techniques as well as indicating new avenues of investigation that arise from them. The chapter discusses how the neurochemistry of the brain may be altered by immune function and outlines how cytokines may alter neurotransmitter content. It outlines some of the strategies that have used electrophysiological techniques to gain insight into how brain circuits “work” and how the immune system may affect these behaviors. Finally, it suggests future lines of inquiry necessary to understand fully how immune function alters brain function, in order to understand the relations between cytokine signaling and behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Psychoneuroimmunology
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781118314814
ISBN (Print)9781119979517
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain function
  • Cytokine
  • Electrophysiological techniques
  • Immune system
  • Neurochemistry
  • Neurotransmitter


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