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Funding News - Research on Immune System and Brain Function Links Sought

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  • The information on this page is for historical and research purposes only.
  • For the most current NINDS funding announcements, please see the NINDS list of Active Funding Initiatives or Follow Us on Twitter for the latest funding news.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) encourage applications for research to study neuroimmune molecules and mechanisms involved in regulating normal and pathological central nervous system (CNS) function.*

Immune molecules (such as cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors) and cells can modulate brain function through multiple signaling pathways originating from peripheral and CNS cells. The potent effects of cytokine molecules in the brain are mediated through multiple signaling pathways. However, details regarding the extent, routes, or mechanisms whereby immune signaling molecules affect the brain under either normal conditions or during immune challenge are largely unexplored.

Examples of potential research include studies to: develop and characterize cytokine receptor selective ligands; identify sensitive markers for determining the effects of pre- and post-natal infection on normal brain development; develop neuroimaging tools for studying cytokine effects within specific brain regions; develop non-invasive tools for examining blood-brain barrier permeability to immune molecules and cells and antibodies; examine the potential role of abnormalities of the blood-brain barrier in determining neuroimmune responses; identify and characterize receptors and signal transduction mechanisms responsible for cytokine and chemokine actions in the brain; examine the effects of cytokines and chemokines on gene expression and activation of neurotransmitters, neurohormones, and other signaling molecules in the brain; examine the developmental expression of cytokines, chemokines, receptors, and related signaling molecules in the brain; examine the impact of immune molecules in well-characterized cellular and behavioral model systems; and employ functional imaging in both basic and clinical studies to determine the effects of individual cytokines and more complex, infection or autoimmune-related immune challenges on brain function.

For more information, potential applicants should contact Neural Environment Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2134, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9521; telephone: 301-496-1431; fax: 301-480-2424; email: funding@ninds.nih.gov.

*For a more detailed description of this program announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-02-045.html.