Neuroinflammation is initially a protective (Regulatory) process within the Brain and/or other parts of the nervous system - in RESPONSE to SENSING things are out of balance (altered homeostasis). 

The Brain has specific cells (microglia) which are closely related to white blood cells (monocytes, macrophages).  Microglia respond to tissue injury, invading viruses/bacteria, OR to inflammatory signals - from inside or outside the Brain.  Microglia secrete inflammatory chemicals (cytokines) which can promote increased inflammation.

Although the inflammatory response can initially protect the brain, prolonged inflammation can cause acute and chronic Body-Brain dysregulation and disease.

Neuroinflammation is now felt to be the primary cause of Major Depression.


1.   Kolliker-Frers (2021) Neuroinflammation:  An Integrating Overview of Reactive-Neuroimmune Cell Interactions in Health and Disease.   Understanding the importance of neuroinflammation is evolving.  This review offers a deeper appreciation of neuroinflammation through discussing the innate and adaptive immune system i regulatig brain cell responses and maintaining homeostasis.

2.  Won (2021) Associations between Melatonin, Neuroinflammation, and Brain Alterations in Depression.  Int J Mol Sci.  A prominent feature of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is disruption of circadian rhythms.  Melatonin is an inborn hormone (as well as an oral supplement) intimately involved in wake-sleep cycles.  Melatonin is also an inborn suppressant of inflammatory response.

3.  Moriarity (2021)  Building a replicable and cliically-impactful immunopsychiatryBrain Behav Immun Health  The recognition of the role of neuroinflammation in neurologic and psychiatry illness is growing.  With increasing recognition of the role of neuroinflammation in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), future research is focused on characterizing inflammatory phenotypes and identifying the psychopathology - how illness develops ad presents.

4.  Pinho-Riberio (2017)  Nociceptor Sensory Neuron-Immune Interactions in Pain and Inflammation.   Trends Immunol.  Active crosstalk occurs between nociceptor neurons and the immune system to regulate pain, host defense, and inflammatory diseases - a fundamental aspect of inflammation and pain, both acute and chronic.

 CLASSIC Articles

1.  Lyman (2014) Neuroinflammation:  the role and consequences.  Neuroinflammation is now understood as a common pathology of acute and chronic brain disease.  Prolonged inflammation is involved in diseases such as multiple sclerosis and dementia.

2.  Tian (2012) Neuroimmune crosstalk in the central nervous system and its significance for neurological diseases.  J Neuroinflammation.  

3.  Chiu  (2012)  Neurogenic inflammation and the peripheral nervous system in host defense and immunopathology.  Nat Neurosci  The line between the peripheral nervous and immune systems is blurred by new insights into neurogenic inflammation and systemic neurogenic modulation of immunity. 

4.  Danese  (2011)   Biological embedding of stress through inflammation processes in childhood.  Mol Psychiatry