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Konstantinos Kilintireas, Professor of Neurology, Medical School of Athens, national & Kapodistrian University of Athens

Lesley Probert, PhD, Research Director, Department of Immunology, Hellenic Pasteur Institute

Teaching hours and weekly schedule

This a 2nd semester, 2 weeks elective course that corresponds to 3 ECTs and 27 total hours of teaching and student presentations.


This is an intensive three-week course focused on neuroimmunology that includes lectures and student presentations.  All material will focus on learning the interactions between the immune and nervous systems and their relevance to the pathology of diseases, particularly those of the central nervous system (CNS). The course will teach basic principles of immune system function, and evidence for its involvement in nervous system function and dysfunction from the study of experimental disease models and clinical data from patients with autoimmune and neuroinflammatory diseases. The goal is that students become conversant with the extent of immune system involvement in nervous system under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. The course will be interactive, with students actively participating through their own research into, and presentations of, currently developing areas in this field.

Course Overview

The course will combine basic research and clinical experience in the field of neuroimmunology to study the involvement of the innate and adaptive immune systems in the CNS under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. The course covers the general principles of peripheral and CNS immune systems, neuroimmune interactions in health and disease, animal models for the study of autoimmune and neuroinflammatory diseases of the CNS, human neuroimmune diseases and clinical experience with current immunotherapeutics for their treatment. 

•             Basic principles of the immune system

•             Cell migration into the CNS and antigen presentation

•             CNS immune system and functions in physiology and disease

•             Neurodegeneration and neurorepair

•             Animal models- critical appraisal as models for human neuroinflammatory diseases

•             Human neuroimmune diseases

•             Immunotherapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases

Skills & Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

1.            Understand the structure and functions of the peripheral immune system with relevance to neuroimmune interactions.

2.            Understand the components and functions of the endogenous CNS immune system.

3.            Be able to critically analyse results from experimental models and assess their relevance for human disease.

4.            Be conversant with the extent of immune involvement in neurological disease.

5.            Be able to appreciate the benefits and limits of current immunotherapeutics, and understand open needs for new therapies, for the treatment of human diseases.

Titles of lectures and names of the lecturers

Neuroimmunology Lecturers
Co-ordinators: Constantinos Kilintireas, Lesley Probert
Basic principles of the immune system   
Innate immune system with relevance to nervous systems  Ourania Tsitsilonis
Adaptive immune system I: T cells  Ourania Tsitsilonis
Adaptive immune system II: B cells  Harry Alexopoulos
Neural immune cells  
Microglia Vasiliki Kyrargyri
Structure and function of BBB, participation in CNS autoimmunity Dimitris Kitsos
Blood Brain Barrier  
CNS-directed autoimmunity  Marina Boziki
Microbiome control of neuroinflammation Marina Boziki
Medical Imaging of human CNS Dimitris Kitsos
Human neuroimmune diseases I  
Autoimmune encephalitis  Harry Alexopoulos
B cell-mediated diseases- T cell-dependent/ T cell-independent  Konstantinos Kilintireas
Neuroinflammation in neurodegerative disease Spiros Georgopoulos
Human neuroimmune diseases II  
Immuno-modulating drugs in CNS autoimmune neurological diseases Elma Evangelopoulos
Immunosuppression in neurological diseases  Mary Anagnostouli
Inflammatory mechanisms in the CNS Konstantinos Kambas
Animal models- relevance for human immunopathology  
Models for multiple sclerosis: EAE- a model for the autoimmune components of MS  David Baker
MS models: Translational approach  David Baker
Live imaging T cell interactions with the BBB Naoto Kawakami
Immunotherapy of MS I: T cells and standard concept of autoimmunity  David Baker
Immunotherapy of MS II: B cell targeting  David Baker