Innate Immune System - Neural Regulation of Innate Immunity

Neural Regulation of Innate Immunity

The innate immune response to infectious and sterile injury is modulated by neural circuits that control cytokine production period. The Inflammatory Reflex is a prototypical neural circuit that controls cytokine production in spleen. Action potentials transmitted via the vagus nerve to spleen mediate the release of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter which inhibits cytokine release by interacting with alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (CHRNA7) expressed on cytokine-producing cells. The motor arc of the inflammatory reflex is termed the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway.

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