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Papers of the Week

2022 Nov 19

Int J Mol Sci



Emerging Roles of Type-I Interferons in Neuroinflammation, Neurological Diseases, and Long-Haul COVID.


Tan P-H, Ji J, Hsing C-H, Tan R, Ji R-R
Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Nov 19; 23(22).
PMID: 36430870.


Interferons (IFNs) are pleiotropic cytokines originally identified for their antiviral activity. IFN-α and IFN-β are both type I IFNs that have been used to treat neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Microglia, astrocytes, as well as neurons in the central and peripheral nervous systems, including spinal cord neurons and dorsal root ganglion neurons, express type I IFN receptors (IFNARs). Type I IFNs play an active role in regulating cognition, aging, depression, and neurodegenerative diseases. Notably, by suppressing neuronal activity and synaptic transmission, IFN-α and IFN-β produced potent analgesia. In this article, we discuss the role of type I IFNs in cognition, neurodegenerative diseases, and pain with a focus on neuroinflammation and neuro-glial interactions and their effects on cognition, neurodegenerative diseases, and pain. The role of type I IFNs in long-haul COVID-associated neurological disorders is also discussed. Insights into type I IFN signaling in neurons and non-neuronal cells will improve our treatments of neurological disorders in various disease conditions.