Although the term was first officially used in 1982 (1), neuroimmunology is now a mature field that has gained immense traction in the past decade. Thanks to novel technological advances, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate the crosstalk between the immune and nervous systems are increasingly appreciated in both physiological and pathological states (1). Similar to the brain, the inner ear has long been considered an “isolated” system devoted to auditory and vestibular signal processing and protected by a blood-labyrinth barrier (BLB) (2–5), and the early neuroimmunology of the inner ear was mainly focused on autoimmunity (6, 7), and on the role of macrophages in cochlear damage (8, 9). In parallel to the brain, awareness about non-neural cells and molecules affecting inner ear functions has been steadily growing1, and neuro-immunological studies of the inner ear face multiple challenges, including an overwhelming number of cellular and molecular interactions, which will require a systems biology approach to grasp their full functionality. In addition, the inner ear poses unique difficulties due to its tight bone encasing and complex fluid regulation. Like most organs, including the brain, the inner ear immune cells are dominated by several populations of macrophages [reviewed in (10, 11)], which largely contribute to both inflammatory/phagocytic and regenerative/protective responses. However, several questions are still open, such as: • What are the signals exchanged between immune cells and inner ear cells in healthy and pathological settings? • How much communication is there between the inner ear and surrounding tissues and fluids? • What is the neuroimmune role of the endolymphatic sac? • What are the roles, nature, and location of several immune cell populations and subpopulations, e.g., mast cells (12), lymphocytes (13), or other leukocytes (14)? • How are local and systemic immune responses regulated—and especially dysregulated- in various kinds of damage (e.g., infection, noise trauma, and ototoxicity)? • How do neuroimmune interactions translate in the modulation of inner ear functions?

Editorial: Neuroimmunology of the Inner Ear

Paola Perin;
2021

Abstract

Although the term was first officially used in 1982 (1), neuroimmunology is now a mature field that has gained immense traction in the past decade. Thanks to novel technological advances, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate the crosstalk between the immune and nervous systems are increasingly appreciated in both physiological and pathological states (1). Similar to the brain, the inner ear has long been considered an “isolated” system devoted to auditory and vestibular signal processing and protected by a blood-labyrinth barrier (BLB) (2–5), and the early neuroimmunology of the inner ear was mainly focused on autoimmunity (6, 7), and on the role of macrophages in cochlear damage (8, 9). In parallel to the brain, awareness about non-neural cells and molecules affecting inner ear functions has been steadily growing1, and neuro-immunological studies of the inner ear face multiple challenges, including an overwhelming number of cellular and molecular interactions, which will require a systems biology approach to grasp their full functionality. In addition, the inner ear poses unique difficulties due to its tight bone encasing and complex fluid regulation. Like most organs, including the brain, the inner ear immune cells are dominated by several populations of macrophages [reviewed in (10, 11)], which largely contribute to both inflammatory/phagocytic and regenerative/protective responses. However, several questions are still open, such as: • What are the signals exchanged between immune cells and inner ear cells in healthy and pathological settings? • How much communication is there between the inner ear and surrounding tissues and fluids? • What is the neuroimmune role of the endolymphatic sac? • What are the roles, nature, and location of several immune cell populations and subpopulations, e.g., mast cells (12), lymphocytes (13), or other leukocytes (14)? • How are local and systemic immune responses regulated—and especially dysregulated- in various kinds of damage (e.g., infection, noise trauma, and ototoxicity)? • How do neuroimmune interactions translate in the modulation of inner ear functions?
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/1444374
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