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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Alexander Kolchinsky, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This book consists of 14 chapters divided into three areas. The first four chapters give the necessary general background on cytokines, signaling pathways they initiate, cellular responses to cytokines, and cellular composition of brain tissue. The next four chapters elaborate the effects of cytokines on different components of brain tissue. The last six chapters translate this basic knowledge into the problems of individual pathophysiological conditions, namely infections, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer disease and other dementia, malignancies, AIDS, and trauma.
Purpose: The purpose was is to summarize a vast body of data generated by several different disciplines and to present it to specialists of diverse backgrounds. The need for such a review was dictated by the rapid growth of molecular studies of cytokines and their receptors, availability of these molecules in substantial amounts for experimentation, and their use for clinical treatments.
Audience: The book is intended for a broad audience of students, trainees, and specialists involved in neuroscience. Due to the extensive background in the first chapters, the book is in a sense self-sufficient, and does not require preliminary reading beyond basic physiology and molecular biology.
Features: The book is illustrated by well-organized black-and-white schemes and relevant and informative microphotographs. Half-tone illustrations are rather poorly reproduced. The structure of the book is outlined in the preface but not reflected in the table of contents. The book has a well-compiled index, but is wanting for a list of abbreviations and a glossary.
Assessment: This is a timely, well-written, and carefully edited book. It demonstrates that the majority of signaling molecules discovered in diverse cellular systems are consistently found to play important roles in the control of the most complex tissue, the brain.