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Immunol Res. 2015 Dec;63(1-3):38-57. doi: 10.1007/s12026-015-8718-1.

Neural circuitry and immunity.

Author information

1
Center for Biomedical Science, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, 350 Community Dr, Manhasset, NY, 11030, USA. vpavlov@nshs.edu.
2
Center for Biomedical Science, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, 350 Community Dr, Manhasset, NY, 11030, USA. kjtracey@nshs.edu.

Abstract

Research during the last decade has significantly advanced our understanding of the molecular mechanisms at the interface between the nervous system and the immune system. Insight into bidirectional neuro-immune communication has characterized the nervous system as an important partner of the immune system in the regulation of inflammation. Neuronal pathways, including the vagus nerve-based inflammatory reflex, are physiological regulators of immune function and inflammation. In parallel, neuronal function is altered in conditions characterized by immune dysregulation and inflammation. Here, we review these regulatory mechanisms and describe the neural circuitry modulating immunity. Understanding these mechanisms reveals possibilities to use targeted neuromodulation as a therapeutic approach for inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. These findings and current clinical exploration of neuromodulation in the treatment of inflammatory diseases define the emerging field of Bioelectronic Medicine.

KEYWORDS:

Cholinergic; Cytokines; Immunity; Inflammation; Neurons; Vagus nerve

PMID:
26512000
PMCID:
PMC4743890
DOI:
10.1007/s12026-015-8718-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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