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Beyond the borders: The gates and fences of Neuroimmune interaction

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192748 Year: Pages: 119 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-274-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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Neuroimmunology is a rapidly growing emerging field at which two old sciences have converged to integrate two different types of responses into a single coherent response involving the coordinated action of both systems, neural and immune. During long time it was thought that both systems worked separately and in divergent pathways. The brain was considered an immunoprivileged site and the immune organs were deemed as independent of any neural influence and also of nervous innervation. Time has gone and has proven that the borders between both systems were merely artificial. Since the beginning of Neuroimmunology in the 1980s much work has been done to elucidate the gates and fences in neuro-immune interactions. Brain was shown to be under the continuous surveillance of the immune system, even under basal physiological conditions in the absence of any pathology. Likely, it was found a profuse nervous innervation of lymphoid organs and even of single immune cells. Gates for direct neural immune communication were found both centrally and peripherally. Centrally, the gates, but also the fences, were situated at the brain barriers, the blood-brain barrier and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier, and at the circunventricular organs. Peripherally, the fences constituted the apparent diverse nature of molecules involved in neural and immune signaling; however, time proved that both system were capable of producing the same signaling molecules and also systematically responded to the molecules released by the other system. Therefore, the gates were open for direct neural-immune communication at the peripheral level. This Research Topic aimed to include original reports, reviews and technical reports regarding the description of the gates and fences in neural immune interactions. We intended to provide an extensive view of the mechanisms governing central and peripheral neural-immune interactions, and the role of the borders, the blood-neural barriers, in the regulation of the neural-immune communication.

From Sex Differences in Neuroscience to a Neuroscience of Sex Differences: New Directions and Perspectives

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196890 Year: Pages: 199 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-689-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Internal medicine --- Medicine (General) --- Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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This research topic aims to integrate scattered findings on sex differences in neuroscience into a broader theory of how the human brain is shaped by sex and sex hormones in order to cause the great variety of sex differences that are commonly observed. It can be assumed that these differences didn’t occur arbitrarily, but that they rather determined and still determine evolutionary success of individuals and were shaped by the processes of natural and in particular sexual selection. Therefore, sex differences are not negligible and sex difference research cannot be discriminating against one sex or the other. In fact a better understanding of the underlying causes of sex differences has great advantages for both men and women and society as a whole, not only in terms of health care, but in every aspect of life. Gender equality can only work out if it is equally well understood for men and women what their individual resources and needs are. Therefore, it is of great importance to pave the way for identifying the underlying principles of structural and functional brain organization that cause men and women to act, think and feel differently. To this end it is of particular interest to identify possible similarities and interrelations between sex differences that did so far stand separately, in order to investigate whether they share a common source. To understand, where a specific sex difference comes from and whether or not it is caused by the same principle as other sex differences, it is necessary to explicitly link sex differences in behavior to their neuronal correlates and vice versa link sex differences in brain structure and function to their behavioral outcomes. In particular a new understanding of male and female brain functioning may arise from findings on how sex hormones interact with various neurotransmitter systems. In the past few years several findings demonstrated that women’s behavior is influenced by the sex hormone fluctuations they experience naturally during their menstrual cycle to the extent that sex differences may only be detectable in one cycle phase but not another. The study of menstrual cycle dependent effects gives important hints about which sex differences are activational and which are organizational. Additionally it only recently came to attention, that hormonal contraception may alter a women’s mood, cognition and behavior as a consequence of changes in brain structure and function. The underlying mechanisms are so poorly understood that it is even hard to predict, whether hormonal contraception will mask or amplify sex differences in a given task. Since the oral hormonal contraceptive pill is meanwhile used by 100 million women worldwide and even by teenagers whose brains are not yet fully developed, the question of how the synthetic steroids contained in hormonal contraceptives act on the brain is to be studied hand in hand with naturally occurring sex differences. This topic summarizes the current state of the art in sex difference research and gives new perspectives in terms of hypothesis generation an methodology. Both are necessary to gain a complete picture of what it is that makes a brain male or female and move towards a neuroscience of sex differences.

Trends in Comparative Endocrinology and Neurobiology

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453993 Year: Pages: 238 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-399-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology --- Medicine (General) --- Internal medicine
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-16 17:17:57
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The comparative approach takes advantage of the biological diversity to select the most appropriate model organism to tackle a scientific question. Comparisons between the endocrine and nervous systems accross species have yielded major breakthroughs in endocrinology and neurobiology. For instance: a number of mammalian peptide hormones and neuropeptides have been originally identified in fish or amphibians; studies conducted in a sea slug founded the cellular and molecular basis of learning and memory; observations of neurogenesis in the forebrain of songbirds led to the discovery of adult neurogenesis in the mammalian brain. These examples illustrate the remarkable contribution of the comparative approach for the advancement of neuroendocrinological concepts.The present e-book is a unique collection of research articles and reviews that provide a representative overview of the latest developments in comparative endocrinology and neurobiology.

Hormonal Control of Important Agronomic Traits

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889456864 Year: Pages: 416 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-686-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Physiology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:43
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One of the goals of plant science is to improve agricultural sustainability, increasing yield, food diversity, and nutrition, while minimizing the negative impact on our environment. In response to internal and external cues, plant hormones control various aspects of plant growth and development. The wealth of our knowledge on plant hormones shall greatly advance sustainable agriculture.

Exploring Gender and Sex Differences in Behavioral Dyscontrol: from Drug Addiction to Impulse Control Disorders

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198337 Year: Pages: 99 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-833-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychiatry --- Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Males and females exhibit discrete attitudes and skills, experience dissimilar emotional and psychological needs, and react differently to peer pressure, lack of self-realization, or other personal and social expectations. In addition, they are differently influenced by family history, and diverge in the perception of self-image and health risks. To complicate the matter on gender dichotomy, male testosterone levels markedly vary over the course of the day, while female levels of sex hormones significantly fluctuate depending upon the menstrual cycle, the pre- or post-menopausal age, and the use of oral contraceptives. All of these factors interact with genetic background and sex hormonal fluctuations, and determine the differences observed in their predisposition to develop an addiction. This term is traditionally associated to the abuse of legal and illegal substances. However, a compulsion toward the engagement in a non-drug-related rewarding behavior, usually involving a natural reward, also activates the brain reward system and engenders persistent behavior, thus resulting in a diminished control over it. These latter behaviors are defined as “behavioral addictions”. This definition encompasses any behavior characterized by the followings: i) feeling of tension or arousal before the action; ii) gratification and/or relief at the time of performing the act; iii) inability to resist an urge or drive even against great obstacles or dangers; iv) absence of consideration for the negative consequences that may affect family, friends, and/or work. As such, behavioral addictions include compulsive food intake and sexual activity, pathological gambling and Internet addiction, excessive exercising, compulsive buying and pyromania. These behaviors, which are often classified as "impulse control disorders", result in actions that are harmful to oneself and/or others, share common features (e.g. compulsiveness, impulsivity, impaired decision-making, craving, tolerance, withdrawal, high rates of relapse), and involve dysfunction of several brain circuits. Derangement from functional neurobiological mechanisms underpinning both sensitivity to reward and inhibitory control can also lead to compulsive behaviors. For instance, pathological gambling and other impulse control disorders (e.g., hypersexuality, compulsive painting, eating and buying) are often reported in Parkinson's disease patients. Gender-dependent differences in the rate of initiation and frequency of misuse of addicting drugs have been widely described. Yet, men and women also differ in their propensity to become addicted to other rewarding stimuli (e.g. sex, food) or activities (e.g. gambling, exercising). The goal of the present Research Topic is to explore and summarize current evidence for gender (and sex) differences not only in drug addiction, but also in other forms of addictive behaviors. Thus, it will include studies showing gender-dependent differences in drug addiction, food addiction, compulsive sexual activity, pathological gambling, Internet addiction and physical exercise addiction. Psychiatric comorbidity, potential risk factors and the underlying neural mechanisms will be also examined, with particular emphasis to the role of sex hormones in modulating addictive and compulsive behaviors.

Hormonal and Neuroendocrine Regulation of Energy Balance

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198856 Year: Pages: 117 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-885-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Physiology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Alteration in adequate energy balance maintenance results in serious disturbances such as obesity and its related metabolic disorders. In Mammals, energy balance is homeostatically controlled through hormonal and neuroendocrine systems which cooperation is based on cross-talk between central and peripheral signals. The hypothalamus as well as peripheral hormones among which adipokines from adipose tissue and thyroid hormones play a crucial role in energy homeostasis. Unraveling the physiological, cellular and molecular mechanisms through which hormonal and neuroendocrine systems regulate energy balance has been a long-standing challenge in biology and is now more necessary when considering the world-wide increasing prevalence of obesity. Indeed, recognizing and understanding the biochemical and nutrient signaling pathways contributing to the nervous and endocrine integration of physiological mechanisms involved in the normal and/or abnormal regulation of energy balance is fundamental also to the development of new, effective, and targeted treatments for obesity. Recent studies have highlighted the role of hypothalamic pro-opiomelanocortin-expressing neurons in the regulation of energy homeostasis by controlling energy expenditure and food intake. This is accomplished through a precise balance of production and degradation of a-melanocyte-stimulating hormone, an anorexigenic neuropeptide which is degraded to an inactive form unable to inhibit food intake by the key enzyme prolyl carboxypeptidase (PRCP), thus suggesting that pharmacologic approaches targeting PRCP may provide a novel and effective option for the management of obesity and its associated metabolic disorders. Indeed, efforts have been made to generate potent, brain-penetrant PRCP inhibitors. Weight loss due to negative energy balance is a goal for obese subjects not always reachable by dietary caloric restriction or increased physical activity. Lipid-lowering therapies have been suggested to have potential benefits, however, the establishment of comprehensive therapeutic strategies is still awaited. Recently, it has been reported that thyroid hormone (TH)- derivatives such as 3,5-diiodothyronine and 3-iodothyronamine possess interesting biological activities, opening new perspectives in thyroid physiology and TH derivatives therapeutic usage. Moreover, several studies, focusing on the interaction between thyroid hormone (TH), the autonomic nervous system and the liver, revealed an important role for the hypothalamus in the differential effects of TH on autonomic outflow to peripheral organs controlling energy balance. This Research Topic aims to give a comprehensive and integrate view of the factors involved in the endocrine and neuroendocrine signaling in energy balance regulation to highlight their involvement into physiological processes and regulatory systems as well as their perturbation during pathological processes.

Immune Interactions during the Reproductive Cycle

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195640 Year: Pages: 158 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-564-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Allergy and Immunology --- Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Mammalian pregnancy represents a unique immunological riddle in that the mother does not reject her allogeneic fetus. In part this is largely due to a general sequestration or diminution of T cell activity, and an increased involvement of the innate immune system. The field of immunology is concerned primarily with how innate and adaptive mechanisms collaborate to protect vertebrates from infection. Although many cellular and molecular actors have evidently important roles, antibodies and lymphocytes are considered to be the principal players. Yet despite their importance, it would be definitely simplistic to conclude that they are solely essential for immunity overall. A major distinction between adaptive and innate immunity is the spontaneity of the innate immune response, which utilizes an already pre-existing but limited repertoire of responding modules. The slower onset of adaptive immunity compensates by its ability to recognize a much broader repertory of foreign substances, and also by its power to constantly improve during a response, whereas innate immunity remains relatively unaffected. The interactions between the reproductive system and the immune system are of particular interest, since the reproductive system is unique in that its primary role is to assure the continuity of the species, while the immune system provides internal protection and thus facilitates continued health and survival. The modus operandi of these two morphologically diffuse systems involves widely distributed chemical signals in response to environmental input, and both systems must interact for the normal functioning of each. Furthermore, dysregulation of normal physiological interactions between the reproductive and immune systems can lead to severe pregnancy-related disorders or complications. On the other hand, by ameliorating auto-inflammatory conditions such as MS and RA, pregnancy may provide a unique insight into novel immune modulatory strategies. The scientific focus on reproductive–immune research has historically provided substantial insight into the interface between these two physiological systems. A translational research approach would involve a tight interaction between diverse scientific and clinical disciplines including immunology, obstetrics, haematology, haemostasis and endocrinology. With so much recent progress in the field, we believe that it is valuable and well-timed to review the broad variety of the relevant physiologic and pathologic aspects – from menstruation to fertilization and implantation, and from placentation and pregnancy per se to the post partum condition - in which the immune system takes part. We are looking forward to a wide and vivid discussion of these and related issues, and we sincerely expect that our readers profoundly benefit from new exciting insights and fruitful collaborations.

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