Neural Control of Immunity

BrainImmune short overviews in this research area

Acid Sensing By Sensory Neurons in Inflammation

Acid Sensing By Sensory Neurons in Inflammation

OVERVIEW ARTICLE Chronic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), are characterized by continuous pain and RA is the most frequent form of inflammatory joint disease in the United Kingdom [1] with an estimated economic cost of ~£8bn/year [2]. Inflammation has several notable symptoms including the four cardinal ones described by Aulus Cornelius Celsus in […]

ATP as a Neuromediator at the Brain-Immune Interface

ATP as a Neuromediator at the Brain-Immune Interface

OVERVIEW ARTICLE The purinergic signaling system, also known as a ‘purinome’, represents extracellular signaling cascades, which are mediated by Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) and its extracellular breakdown product, adenosine. This system consists of receptors, enzymes and transporters responsible for their release, actions and extracellular inactivation (Figure 1). ATP is well-known as the universal ‘energy currency’ of […]

Influence of the Sympathetic Nervous System on Regulatory T cells: Another Link in Neuro-Immune Interactions

Influence of the Sympathetic Nervous System on Regulatory T cells: Another Link in Neuro-Immune Interactions

OVERVIEW ARTICLE Homeostatic control of the immune system is dependent on CD4, FoxP3+, NKT or antigen-specific CD4+ or CD8+ regulatory T cells. These regulatory T cells are essential to prevent or mitigate autoimmunity and the immune response to non-self antigens. Herein is an overview of our observations on the inhibition of the induction of splenic […]

Innervation of the Human Thymus and Spleen – an Overview

Innervation of the Human Thymus and Spleen – an Overview

OVERVIEW ARTICLE The immune and nervous systems are anatomically and functionally interconnected, this cross-talk is evidenced by the dense innervation – mainly sympathetic – of the primary (bone marrow and thymus) and secondary (spleen and lymph nodes) lymphoid organs [1, 2]. Primary and secondary lymphoid organs are innervated by the autonomic nervous system resulting in […]

Role of the Vagus Nerve at the Neural-Immune Interface

Role of the Vagus Nerve at the Neural-Immune Interface

OVERVIEW ARTICLE Evidence shows that the central nervous system monitors and modulates the activity of both circulating and tissue immune cells via the neuroendocrine system and autonomic nerves. Furthermore, findings over the last decade have demonstrated that the vagus nerve represents an important bi-directional link between the brain and immune system. Afferent vagal pathways transmit […]

Tachykinins, Bone Marrow and Hematopoiesis

Tachykinins, Bone Marrow and Hematopoiesis

OVERVIEW ARTICLE Hematopoiesis is the development of immune and other blood cells from a small population of stem cells known as hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). In the embryo, hematopoiesis takes place within the yolk sac, in special tissue called blood islands [1]. Later in development, the spleen, liver, and lymphoid tissues take over this responsibility. […]

Autonomic Nervous System Control of Leukocyte Distribution: Physiology and Implications for Common Human Diseases

Autonomic Nervous System Control of Leukocyte Distribution: Physiology and Implications for Common Human Diseases

OVERVIEW ARTICLE Leukocytes are key components of the body’s defense system and the major subsets of leukocytes are granulocytes and lymphocytes. We and others have found that the distribution of these subsets are under the regulation of the autonomic nervous system. Of note, granulocytes express adrenergic receptors and the number and proportion of granulocytes increase […]