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Adv Physiol Educ. 2014 Jun;38(2):135-9.

Neural control of the immune system.

Abstract

Neural reflexes support homeostasis by modulating the function of organ systems. Recent advances in neuroscience and immunology have revealed that neural reflexes also regulate the immune system. Activation of the vagus nerve modulates leukocyte cytokine production and alleviates experimental shock and autoimmune disease, and recent data have suggested that vagus nerve stimulation can improve symptoms in human rheumatoid arthritis. These discoveries have generated an increased interest in bioelectronic medicine, i.e., therapeutic delivery of electrical impulses that activate nerves to regulate immune system function. Here, we discuss the physiology and potential therapeutic implications of neural immune control.

PMID:
25039084
PMCID:
PMC4056170
DOI:
10.1152/advan.00094.2013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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