For an outstanding introduction to autonomic regulation of the immune system, please see Dr. Kevin Tracy‘s* lecture, Keynote: Autonomic Regulation of the Immune System, 1:02:44, Mar 23, 2022, from Dysautonomia International.
*Link is to the Google scholarly citations list of Dr. Tracy.
Here I link to and excerpt from Manipulation of the inflammatory reflex
as a therapeutic strategy [PubMed Abstract]. Cell Rep Med. 2022 Jul 19;3(7):100696. doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2022.100696.
The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway is the efferent arm of the inflammatory reflex, a neural circuit through which the CNS can modulate peripheral immune responses. Signals communicated via the vagus and splenic nerves use acetylcholine, produced by Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)+ T cells, to downregulate the inflammatory actions of macrophages expressing α7 nicotinic receptors. Pre-clinical studies using transgenic animals, cholinergic agonists, vagotomy, and vagus nerve stimulation have demonstrated this pathway’s role and therapeutic potential in numerous inflammatory diseases. In this review, we summarize what is understood about the inflammatory reflex. We also demonstrate how pre-clinical findings are being translated into promising clinical trials, and we draw particular attention to innovative bioelectronic methods of harnessing the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway for clinical use.
Keywords: cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway; inflammatory disease; inflammatory reflex; vagus nerve stimulation; α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.
Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.