Journal article

Neuronal regulation of the gut immune system and neuromodulation for treating inflammatory bowel disease

Luis Populin, Martin J Stebbing, John B Furness

FASEB BIOADVANCES | WILEY | Published : 2021


The gut immune system in the healthy intestine is anti-inflammatory, but can move to a pro-inflammatory state when the gut is challenged by pathogens or in disease. The nervous system influences the level of inflammation through enteric neurons and extrinsic neural connections, particularly vagal and sympathetic innervation of the gastrointestinal tract, each of which exerts anti-inflammatory effects. Within the enteric nervous system (ENS), three neuron types that influence gut immune cells have been identified, intrinsic primary afferent neurons (IPANs), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) neurons that project to the mucosa, and cholinergic neurons that influence macrophages in the externa..

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Awarded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) BTO

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Dr Cyril Seillet, Dr Peter De Cruz and Dr Robin McAllen for discussion and valuable comments on the manuscript. Work on the neuro-immune interactions in the digestive system, and on the underlying nerve circuitry was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) BTO, under the auspices of Dr. Eric Van Gieson through the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (Contract No. N66001-15-2-4060), the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC, Australia), the Wisconsin National Primate Center and the host institutions of the authors.