New Model Explains Role of Dopamine in Immune Regulation, Semmelweis University, Cellular and Molecular Neuroendocrine Research Laboratory, and Hungarian Academy of Sciences Study
Published: Oct 12, 2012
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with emotions, movement, and the brain’s pleasure and reward system. In the current issue of Advances in Neuroimmune Biology, investigators provide a broad overview of the direct and indirect role of dopamine in modulating the immune system and discuss how recent research has opened up new possibilities for treating diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis or even the autoimmune disorders. Dopamine can be synthesized not only in neurons, but also in immune cells which orchestrate the body’s response to infection or malignancy. “Data strongly supports the theory that an autocrine/paracrine regulatory loop exists in lymphocytes, where dopamine produced and released by the cells then acts on its own receptors, and can have an influence on its own function,” explains lead investigator György M. Nagy, PhD, DSc, of the Department of Human Morphology, Cellular and Molecular Neuroendocrine Research Laboratory, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.