Journal article

The interface between cholinergic pathways and the immune system and its relevance to arthritis

Robin M McAllen, Andrew D Cook, Hsu Wei Khiew, Davide Martelli, John A Hamilton

ARTHRITIS RESEARCH & THERAPY | BMC | Published : 2015

Abstract

The nervous and immune systems are likely to be interacting in arthritis, with the possible involvement of both neural and non-neural cholinergic transmission. Centrally acting muscarinic agonists, electrical stimulation of the vagus and treatment with nicotinic receptor agonists can all act systemically to reduce inflammation, although the responsible pathways are incompletely understood. While this 'cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway' is widely viewed as a significant pathophysiological mechanism controlling inflammation, the evidence supporting this view is critically reviewed and considered inconclusive; an alternative pathway via sympathetic nerves is implicated. This review also dis..

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