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NEUROIMMUNOLOGY

Co-Coordinators

Constantinos Kilintireas, MD, Professor of Neurology

Lesley Probert, PhD, Research Director, Department of Immunology


Teaching hours and weekly schedule

This a 2 weeks course that corresponds to 3 ECTs and 36 total hours of teaching; 21 hours lectures and 15 hours of student presentation

The course will take place in March-April-May-June (will be defined according to the selection of courses by the students) and the weekly schedule could be according to the table below. The teaching hours/day may be increased if necessary

Weekly Program for 3 ECTs

3 ECTs=21 hours of teaching+15 hours student presentations

Total: 2 weeks Χ teaching hours/day

Monday

4

8

Tuesday

4

8

Wednesday

4

8

Thursday

4

8

Friday

4

4

 

 

36

 

Description

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 the lectures and the names of the lecturers

 

A/A

Lecture Hours

Neuroimmunology

Lecturer

 

 

Basic principles of the immune system

 

1

1

Innate immune system with relevance to nervous systems: Neutrophils, NK cells, Macrophages, Relevance for diseases of PNS and CNS (e.g. PMS, AD, ALS, PD, Schizophrenia)

Ourania Tsitsilonis

2

1

Adaptive immune system II: B cells, T cell-dependent/ T cell independent responses, B regs, Relevance for diseases of PNS and CNS (e.g. autoAbs to AChR, MOG, NMDAR, AMPAR, GABAR), IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD)

Harry Alexopoulos

3

1

Adaptive immune system I: T cells,  Antigen presentation, APC, dendritic cells, CNS Ags (e.g. HSPs, MOG, P0, DM22), T cell differentiation, Autoantigens, Central and peripheral tolerance, Relevance for diseases of PNS and CNS

Ourania Tsitsilonis

 

1

Regulation of the immune system

Ourania Tsitsilonis

 

 

Cell migration into the CNS and antigen presentation:

 

4

1

Basics: Basic principles of BBB, cell migration into CNS, Cellular activation, cytokines, chemokines

Trevor Owens

5

1

T cell interactions with the BBB, Live imaging of cellular interactions and migration into the CNS

Naoto Kawakami

6

1

Clinical aspects, BBB in neurological diseases, MRI imaging and interpretation, Pharmaceuticals that cross BBB in disease

Kostas Voumvourakis

7

1

CNS immune system

Spiros Georgopoulos

8

1

Microglia: TLR and infections, IL-1β, and inflammasome, TNF

Vasso Kyrargyri

8

1

Neurodegeneration and neurorepair/remyelination-Mediators of neurodegeneration (calcium, apoptosis, necrosis, necroptosis)

Luca Muzio from San Raffael

9

1

CNS repair mechanisms: M1/M2 inflammation, alternative activation of MG, remyelination, Neural stem cells in CNS physiology and repair

Luca Muzio from San Raffael-Maria Karamita

 

 

Animal models- critical appraisal as models for human neuroinflammatory diseases

 

10

1

MS models I: EAE- model for the autoimmune components of MS (passive transfer models for e.g. NMDAR encephalitis, Devics, Stiff Person Syndrome)

David Baker

11

1

MS models II: Cuprizone-induced demyelination/remyelination

Domna Karagogeos

12

1

Alzheimer’s disease models: APP and ApoE4 transgenics and PSNKO, scavenger receptors/microglia, success of anti TNF therapy

Spiros Georgopoulos

 

 

Human neuroimmune diseases

 

13

1

T cell-mediated diseases: a) multiple sclerosis, paraneoplastic- synaptic autoimmune encephalitides (NMDAR, AMPAR, GABAR etc), CIDP – chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy

Nikos Grigoriadis

14

1

B cell-mediated diseases- T cell-dependent/ T cell-independent: a) Paraneoplastic, Autoimmune encephalitis , Myasthenia gravis, NMO - neuromyelitis optica  

Costas Kilindireas

15

1

Autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Harry Alexopoulos

 

 

Immunotherapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative disease

16

1

Immunosuppression in neurological diseases (e.g. for PMS, aggressive RRMS, Peripheral Neuropathy, Myasthenia Gravis), Mitoxanthrone, Cyclosporine, CellSept, Copaxone)

Mary Anagnostouli

17

1

Cell depletion therapies, Rituximab, Occrelizumab, Alentuzumab, PLX, plasmaphoresis for AchR (MG), Aquaporin 4 (NMO), MOG (MS?), NMDA (autoimmune encephalitis). Comment, why not effective with anti-GM1 Abs for MMA, Cell death (high dose Rituximab?

Maria Evangelopoulou

18

1

Anti-migratory therapies, (for MS, peripheral neuropathy, CIDP), Natalizumab (Tysabri), Fingolimod (Gilenya), 

Efthimios Dardiotis

19

1

Immunomodulatory therapies, Type I interferons –modes of action, IVIg

Efthimios Dardiotis

20

1

New pipeline immunotherapeutic approaches, Antigen-specific T cell tolerance (DC targeting, DNA or TCR vaccination, etc)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Lecture hours

21

 

 

Total student presentation hours

15

 

 

Total teaching hours

36