Immune cells use neurotransmitter to communicate

Researchers have suspected for a few years that neurotransmitters like dopamine play a role in how the immune system functions. But they didn’t know how cells in the immune system would actually used dopamine. A paper published on July 12 of this year shows for the first time that cells in the immune system send dopamine to other cells to trigger them into action. This is just like how neurons use dopamine in the brain! Check out the infographic for a summary of the discovery!

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References:

Papa, Ilenia, David Saliba, Maurilio Ponzoni, Sonia Bustamante, Pablo F. Canete, Paula Gonzalez-Figueroa, Hayley A. Mcnamara, Salvatore Valvo, Michele Grimbaldeston, Rebecca A. Sweet, Harpreet Vohra, Ian A. Cockburn, Michael Meyer-Hermann, Michael L. Dustin, Claudio Doglioni, and Carola G. Vinuesa. (2017). TFH-derived dopamine accelerates productive synapses in germinal centresNature.

Qi, Hai. (2017). Immunology: Nervous crosstalk to make antibodiesNature.

Epigenetics help the aging brain

This review paper summarizes recent research showing how epigenetics change the brain as we get older. 

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