RG7: Neuro-Inflammation

RG7 combines the translational expertise of a team of clinicians from Hospital Fernando Fonseca and basic scientists, to study the relevance of inflammation and immune activation in either isolated neurologic conditions or in the context of systemic diseases. The activation of innate and adaptive immunity is a self-defensive reaction, aimed to restore homeostasis and to eliminate harmful stimuli compromising the integrity of affected tissues. The main interests are

  1. to understand the contribution of immune system activation to the development of neurodegenerative diseases, eg. Parkinson's (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) and
  2. to identify the biological activity and clinical relevance of antibodies produced against endogenous molecules in these pathologies, thus challenging a long-held concept that considers the brain as immune-privileged.


An enhanced permeability of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-blood barrier, blood-brain barrier (BBB) and blood-spinal cord barrier is capable to aid the infiltration of immune cells into the brain and, therefore, to critically contribute to the pathogenesis of neurological disorders.

  1. Assessing the molecular mechanisms underlying alterations in the microvasculature and microhemorrages as contributing factors for the development of these diseases is our major interest. Indeed, although occurring physiologically during aging, these phenomena are known to enhance the severity of PD and AD. Thus, we actively address the hypothesis that vascular impairment contributes to the accumulation of heme/iron in the brain, causing ultimately neuronal death. We already established mice models of PD and AD, while cohort samples of CSF and peripheral blood are being analyzed.
  2. Another important aspect of our research addresses CNS involvement in systemic autoimmune conditions, eg. Systemic Lupus, Scleroderma or Systemic vasculitis, and the efficacy of therapeutic strategies for patients' management.


Keywords: Neuroinflammation; Brain vascular impairment; Heme/iron metabolism; Auto-antibodies


Latest Publications

Caetano J, Paula FS, Amaral MC, Oliveira S, Delgado Alves J (2019) Nailfold Videocapillaroscopy Changes Are Associated With the Presence and Severity of Systemic Sclerosis-Related Interstitial Lung DiseaseJCR-Journal of Clinical Rheumatology (in press)

Ames P, Merashli M, Bucci T, Norouz-Zadeh J (2019) Isoprostane in systemic sclerosis: A systematic review and meta-analysisModern Rheumatology 17:1-6

Gonçalves J, Santos M, Acurcio R, Iria I, Gouveia L, Matos Brito P, Catarina Cunha-Santos A, Barbas A, Galvão J, Barbosa I, Aires da Silva F, Alcobia A, Cavaco M, Cardoso M, Delgado Alves J, Carey JJ, Dörner T, Eurico Fonseca J, Palmela C, Torres J, Lima Vieira C, Trabuco D, Fiorino G, Strik A, Yavzori M, Rosa I, Correia L, Magro F, D'Haens G, Ben-Horin S, Lakatos PL, Danese S (2018) Antigenic response to CT-P13 and infliximab originator in inflammatory bowel disease patients shows similar epitope recognition. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 48(5):507-522

Batuca JR, Amaral MC, Favas C, Justino GC, Papoila AL, Ames PRJ, Alves JD (2018) Antibodies against HDL Components in Ischaemic Stroke and Coronary Artery Disease. Thromb Haemostasis 118(6):1088-1100

Ames P, Bucci T, Merashli M, Amaral M, Arcaro A, Gentile F, Nourooz-Zadeh J, Delgado Alves J (2018) Oxidative/nitrative stress in the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis: are antioxidants beneficial? Free Radical Research (in press)