IMMUNE-SYNAPTOPATHIES: HOW THE IMMUNE SYSTEM AFFECTS SYNAPTIC FUNCTION
In the last fifteen years, groundbreaking genetic progress has underlined a convergence onto coherent synaptic pathways for most psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, which are now collectively called “synaptopathies”. However, the modest size of inheritance detected indicates a multifactorial etiology for these disorders, underlining the key contribution of environmental effects to them. Extensive research is providing evidence that inflammation has long-term consequences and could speculatively affect the risk and/or severity of a variety of brain diseases, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD), schizophrenia and intellectual disabilities (ID), which represent recognized synaptopathies. Accordingly, prenatal and early postnatal infections have been associated with increased risk for a number of neurodevelopmental disorders. The knowledge of the molecular mechanisms by which inflammatory mediators specifically hit synaptic components implicated in synaptopathies is still in its infancy. The talk will summarize recent evidence obtained by our group showing that immune molecules targets synaptopathy molecular substrates, leading to memory defects and pathological processes. We coined the term of immune-synaptopathies to describe this process.