About this Research Topic
There is increasing evidence for an intense cross-talk between innate and adaptive immunity and brain structure and function. Recent advances about the neurovascular unit posed the anatomical basis to understand such a connection both at microscopical level and through in vivo MRI-based neuro-anatomical studies. These provided in vivo evidence for the so-called glymphatic pathway in human anatomy. The specific components of this pathway embrace a huge variety of anatomical structures, which are described at best in terms of interactions among endothelial cells, neurons, glia and other components of the neurovascular unit together with resident and circulating immune cells. All these components are essential to guarantee the anatomical integrity of the matter grey and white of the central nervous system. In contrast, alteration in these structures may predispose to a variety of pathological conditions which involve a variety of neurodegenerative disorders, including, Alzheimer’s disease. The loss of integrity of the microscopical anatomy of brain vessels and immune system is bound to acute and chronic brain damage. In fact, the clearance of misfolded proteins as well as the basis of brain metabolism stems from the integrity of these systems. Thus the well documented interaction between cerebrovascular dysfunction and neurodegeneration relies on the anatomy of the glymphatic pathway and the neurovascular unit which include the specific role of the immune system.
This Research Topic aims to contribute the debate about such hot and complex topic by presenting papers reviewing different aspects of the anatomy of the glymphatic pathway, the immune system and the neurovascular unit; contributions about their interactions in brain disorders are welcome.