Neural networks in intestinal immunoregulation

Léa M. M. Costes, Guy E. Boeckxstaens, Wouter J. de Jonge, Cathy Cailotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Key physiological functions of the intestine are governed by nerves and neurotransmitters. This complex control relies on two neuronal systems: an extrinsic innervation supplied by the two branches of the autonomic nervous system and an intrinsic innervation provided by the enteric nervous system. As a result of constant exposure to commensal and pathogenic microflora, the intestine developed a tightly regulated immune system. In this review, we cover the current knowledge on the interactions between the gut innervation and the intestinal immune system. The relations between extrinsic and intrinsic neuronal inputs are highlighted with regards to the intestinal immune response. Moreover, we discuss the latest findings on mechanisms underlying inflammatory neural reflexes and examine their relevance in the context of the intestinal inflammation. Finally, we discuss some of the recent data on the identification of the gut microbiota as an emerging player influencing the brain function
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-223
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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