Back up mandate Research Council (Monica Vara Perez): Brain macrophages and stress: it takes two to tango

Project Details


The stress response is a physiological mechanism aimed at promoting our survival. This response is regulated at the hormonal level, mainly by glucocorticoids and catecholamines. While short periods of stress seem beneficial for our brain, prolonged stress deleteriously impacts brain homeostasis and results in cognitive and behavioral problems. Moreover, it is considered a risk and/or aggravating factor in several brain-related diseases. In this regard, the harmful effect of stress in the brain has been associated with its impact on the brain's immune system. Macrophages (microglia and border-associated macrophages) are the predominant immune cell population in the brain and several hints in literature and our preliminary data suggest their implication in the brain (mis)adaptation
to stress. However, consistent and coherent data throughout different animal models are lacking. For this reason, this project aims to elucidate the role of brain macrophages under different modalities of stress, paying special attention to the contribution of glucocorticoid and catecholamine signaling. This basic knowledge, generated with cutting-edge technologies, will comprehensively clarify the exact contribution of brain macrophages to the physiological and cognitive consequences of stress, thus providing new clues on how to ameliorate them.
StatusNot started
Effective start/end date1/10/2230/09/23

Flemish discipline codes

  • Neurophysiology
  • Innate immunity
  • Endocrinology


  • neuroimmunology
  • stress response
  • Macrophages