Our understanding of CNS functions has evolved during the last two decades from a purely neurocentric view to a model integrating glial cells as active partners of neuronal networks. Besides their classical roles of supporting cells, glial cells are engaged in bi-directional communications with neurons, sensing and influencing synaptic and neuronal activities. Remarkably, glial cells are also key actors of the CNS immunity that orchestrate the inflammatory reaction occurring in many neuropathologies and that also relay into the CNS the influence of peripheral factors activating the immune system. This international symposium will bring together leaders in the fields of neuron-glia interactions, synaptic physiology, brain development and neuroimmunology. In line with the spirit of the Jacques Monod Conferences, the emphasis will be on multidisciplinary approaches and emerging technologies that have led to the latest discoveries regarding the roles of glial cells, and in particular microglial cells, in the CNS development, physiology and pathology.
The conference will be organized around five major themes, at the crossroads of the two rapidly growing fields of neuron-glia interactions and of neuroimmunology:
1. Neuron-microglia interactions in the developing and mature brain in physiological conditions and in different species
2. Evolutionary aspects of glial functions and neuroimmunity
3. The neurovascular unit
4. Peripheral factors influencing CNS innate immunity
5. The neuroimmune system in neurological, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders
Trainees will have the opportunity to present their work during poster sessions and short talks will be also selected from the abstracts. By encouraging discussions and exchanges, this conference will also aim at helping the identification of critical gaps, the emergence of new ideas and collaborations to undertake novel challenges that will help to understand better the interactions between the immune and nervous systems.