Directed by Giamal Luheshi, PhD, the main research interests of the Neuroimmunology Laboratory are centered on investigating the interactions between the peripheral immune system and the brain during infection and inflammation. In particular, the lab is interested in the role of a family of immune mediators, cytokines, in this process.
Cytokines are a heterogeneous group of polypeptides which, in addition to their role in mediating peripheral immune function, have been shown to act in the brain to trigger diverse physiological and pathophysiological responses to peripheral and brain insults.
These molecules have also been associated with acute and chronic neurological diseases such as stroke, Alzheimer Disease, schizophrenia and others.

Using integrated and multidisciplinary approaches, the laboratory is studying the mechanisms of action of cytokines by investigating:

  • their role in triggering brain-orchestrated sickness responses (eg. fever, sleep, and appetite suppression) to peripheral infection and inflammation;
  • their involvement in the cachexia of inflammation and how they interact with the appetite suppressant leptin;
  • how they can influence fetal brain development during gestation in mothers exposed to bacterial or viral infection and subsequently contribute to the development of mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, in the adult offspring.


Douglas Institute
Neuroimmunology Laboratory
Perry Pavilion, room E-2112
6875 LaSalle Boulevard
Montreal, Quebec H4H 1R3

Tel.: 514-761-6131, ext. 2820
Fax: 514-762-3045