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RAZ YIRMIYA

Professor of Psychobiology
Director, The Hebrew University PsychoNeuroImmunology Laboratory
Department of Psychology
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905
Israel
email: razyirmiya@huji.ac.il
phone: +972-2-588-3695 fax: +972-2-588-2947

Research in my laboratory focuses on the role of brain inflammatory processes in regulation of cognition, emotion, neural plasticity and neurogenesis. Specifically, we aim to elucidate the role of microglia and inflammatory cytokines, particularly within the hippocampus, in: 1) Normal physiological neurobehavioral processes, including hippocampal-dependent memory consolidation, neural plasticity, neurogenesis, and the modulation of these processes by environmental enrichment (see left panel in the figure below). 2) The neurobehavioral impairments produced by exposure to various forms of psychological stress, infections, injury and neurodegenerative diseases (see right panel in the figure below); 3) The pathophysiology of major depression. We particularly focus on the causal role of dynamic alterations in hippocampal microglia status and interleukin-1 signaling in chronic unpredictable stress-induced depression and suppressed neurogenesis.

neural

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE. Immune modulation of neuro-behavioral functioning: (Left panel) During normal quiescent conditions, the immune system supports and boosts brain activity, promoting learning, memory, LTP and neurogenesis. These beneficial effects depend on inflammatory cytokines-mediated interactions among brain immune cells, particularly microglia, neurons and neural precursor cells. (Right panel) During infection, injury or severe/chronic stress, the brain "cytokine storm" disrupts the delicate balance needed for the normal neurophysiological and cognitive actions of immune processes. The resultant impairments in neurobehavioral plasticity involve neuronal hyper-excitability followed by homeostatic adrenocortical stimulation,  reductions in plasticity-related molecules, cognitive disturbances and depression.

List of Publications by Topics:

  1. Cytokines and depression
  2. Neuro-Immune Mechanisms of Infection- and Autoimmunity-Induced Behavioral and Neuroendocrine Disturbances
  3. The role of microglia and IL-1 signaling in Normal Neurobehavioral Functioning
  4. Cytokines and Pain
  5. Psychological Effects of Immune Challenges in Humans
  6. The Immunobiology of Sexual Behavior
  7. NeuroPsychOsteology
  8. Effects of Fetal- and Chronic-Alcohol Exposure on Cytokine-Mediated Neuro-immune Interactions
  9. The relationships Among Brain, Behavior, Psychoactive Drugs, Immunity and Cancer
  10. Neurobiological Mechanisms of Conditioned Taste Aversions and Preferences
  11. Stress, Brain Neuropeptides, and Pain
  12. Neural Correlates of Expectations and Decision Making

Chronological Publications:

2013, 2012, 2011,
2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001,
2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991,
1990, 1989, 1988, 1987

Last updated: January 24, 2013
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