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
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..View full abstract
Work in the authors' laboratories was supported by project grants and research fellowships to RMM and JAH from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia and by the Victorian Government Operational Infrastructure Support Program. HWK was supported by Endeavour IPRS and an Australian Postgraduate Award.