Eric J. Downer

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Deficits in cognitive function are associated with neuroinflammatory changes, typified by activation of glial cells and an alteration of the pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine balance in the brain. Although there is evidence to suggest that activation of microglia is regulated by interaction with other cell types in the brain, the mechanism(s) involved is(More)
Several neurodegenerative disorders are associated with evidence of inflammation, one feature of which is increased activation of microglia, the most likely cellular source of inflammatory cytokines like interleukin-1beta. It is now recognized that interaction of microglia with other cells contributes to maintenance of microglia in a quiescent state and the(More)
Age-related cognitive deficits in hippocampus are correlated with neuroinflammatory changes, typified by increased pro-inflammatory cytokine production and microglial activation. We provide evidence that the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM)-derived mimetic peptide, FG loop (FGL), acts as a novel anti-inflammatory agent. Administration of FGL to aged(More)
Maintenance of the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in the brain, which is affected by the activation state of microglia, is important for maintenance of neuronal function. Evidence has suggested that IL-4 plays an important neuromodulatory role and has the ability to decrease lipopolysaccharide-induced microglial activation and the(More)
Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, induces apoptosis in cultured cortical neurons. THC exerts its apoptotic effects in cortical neurons by binding to the CB1 cannabinoid receptor. The CB1 receptor has been shown to couple to the stress-activated protein kinase, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). However, the(More)
Age is characterized by deficits in synaptic function identified by decreased performance of aged animals in spatial learning tasks and reduced ability of animals to sustain long term potentiation (LTP). Several cellular and molecular events are correlated with these deficits, many of which are indicative of age-related neuroinflammatory and oxidative cell(More)
β-Interferons (IFN-βs) represent one of the first line treatments for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, slowing disease progression while reducing the frequency of relapses. Despite this, more effective, well tolerated therapeutic strategies are needed. Cannabinoids palliate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) symptoms and have therapeutic(More)
Microglial cell activity increases in the rat hippocampus during normal brain aging. The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM)-derived mimetic peptide, FG loop (FGL), acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in the hippocampus of the aged rat, promoting CD200 ligand expression while attenuating glial cell activation and subsequent pro-inflammatory cytokine(More)
The biologically active components of cannabis have therapeutic potential in neuroinflammatory disorders due to their anti-inflammatory propensity. Cannabinoids influence immune function in both the peripheral and the central nervous system (CNS), and the components of the cannabinoid system, the cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands(More)
The maternal use of cannabis during pregnancy results in a number of cognitive deficits in the offspring that persist into adulthood. The endocannabinoid system has a role to play in neurodevelopmental processes such as neurogenesis, migration and synaptogenesis. However, exposure to phytocannabinoids, such as Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, during gestation(More)