Neuroimmune Consortium: Astrocyte Inflammatory Contributions to Alzheimer’s Disease


Interferons, or IFNs, are important parts of our body’s natural defense system. They help our bodies fight off infections and diseases. In our brains, cells called astrocytes respond to these interferons. When they do, they can cause inflammation, which is like a red alert for our immune system. This can sometimes lead to damage in our brain cells. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), interferon has been linked to memory loss and cognitive decline, which are key symptoms of AD. However, we still don’t fully understand how this process works, how interferon outside the brain can affect astrocytes in the brain, and, in turn, how these interferon-responsive astrocytes contribute to neuron health and function. As such, it is really important for scientists to study how interferons cause inflammation in astrocytes and how this relates to Alzheimer’s Disease. This could help us find new ways to treat or even prevent AD.

Funding to Date



Studies of Innate Immune Pathology, Translational


Shane Liddelow, Ph.D.