Previously we discussed various interactions that occur between the immune and nervous systems that are potential contributors to neuroinflammatory disorders. In this post, we will call out some of the specific cells involved in these interactions.
At the anatomical level, neuro‐immune interactions have been shown to take place all along the pain processing pathway. This is partially facilitated by increased permeability of the blood‐brain barrier following SCI or peripheral nerve injury . At the cellular level, neuro‐immune interactions involve leukocytes including mast cells, neutrophils, macrophages, and T cells as well as glial cells with immunelike functions including Schwann cells and satellite glial cells in the PNS and microglia and astrocytes in the CNS. Alterations in glial cell function other than those associated with immune cells, immune system signaling molecules, or immune‐like functions of glial cells (i.e., alterations in neurotrophic factor signaling, potassium ion buffering, neurotransmitter re‐uptake, or gap junction maintenance) are outside the scope of this review and are not included here.