Neuroinflammation as a common denominator of complex diseases (Cancer, diabetes type 2, and neuropsychiatric disorders)

Serena Asslih, Odeya Damri, Galila Agam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The term neuroinflammation refers to inflammation of the nervous tissue, in general, and in the central nervous system (CNS), in particular. It is a driver of neurotoxicity, it is detrimental, and implies that glial cell activation happens prior to neuronal degeneration and, possibly, even causes it. The inflammation-like glial responses may be initiated in response to a variety of cues such as infection, traumatic brain injury, toxic metabolites, or autoimmunity. The inflammatory response of activated microglia engages the immune system and initiates tissue repair. Through translational research the role played by neuroinflammation has been acknowledged in different disease entities. Intriguingly, these entities include both those directly related to the CNS (commonly designated neuropsychiatric disorders) and those not directly related to the CNS (e.g., cancer and diabetes type 2). Interestingly, all the above-mentioned entities belong to the same group of “complex disorders”. This review aims to summarize cumulated data supporting the hypothesis that neuroinflammation is a common denominator of a wide variety of complex diseases. We will concentrate on cancer, type 2 diabetes (T2DM), and neuropsychiatric disorders (focusing on mood disorders).

Original languageEnglish
Article number6138
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • Blood-brain barrier (BBB)
  • Cancer
  • Central nervous system (CNS)
  • Cytokines
  • Glia
  • Mood disorders
  • Neu-ropsychiatric disorders
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Type 2 diabetes (T2DM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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