Monday, May 19, 2008

Could Nasal Vaccines Cause Complications In The Brain?

First Evidence Of Native Dendritic Cells In Brain Surprises Scientists Science Daily
"In a finding that has the potential to change the way researchers think about the brain, scientists at Rockefeller University have found dendritic cells where they’ve never been seen before: among this organ’s neurons and connective cells. The immunity-directing dendritic cell had previously been seen in the human nervous system only after brain injury or disease. But the new study shows for the first time that the brain has its own, resident population of dendritic cells that may serve as a line of defense against pathogens that sneak past the blood-brain barrier... The discovery that some dendritic cells that are native to the brain, rather than just infiltrating during traumatic events, comes with a wide range of implications. “Their location suggests a multiplicity of functions, ranging from surveillance to participation in a number of events in the brain,” says Bruce McEwen, Alfred E. Mirsky Professor and head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, where the work was conducted. But their position might also be an important factor to consider when evaluating drug administration, since certain vaccines and medications are now given nasally. “In a way, it’s reassuring that there are cells there monitoring for invaders. On the other hand, it raises questions about the wisdom of that vaccine approach in the first place. The degree to which these drug molecules might alter the immune system of the brain is unknown,” McEwen says."

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