Interleukin-1beta in immune cells of the abdominal vagus nerve: a link between the immune and nervous systems? (1/341)

Intraperitoneal administration of the cytokine interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) induces brain-mediated sickness symptoms that can be blocked by subdiaphragmatic vagotomy. Intraperitoneal IL-1beta also induces expression of the activation marker c-fos in vagal primary afferent neurons, suggesting that IL-1beta is a key component of vagally mediated immune-to-brain communication. The cellular sources of IL-1beta activating the vagus are unknown, but may reside in either blood or in the vagus nerve itself. We assayed IL-1beta protein after intraperitoneal endotoxin [lipopolysaccharide (LPS)] injection in abdominal vagus nerve, using both an ELISA and immunohistochemistry, and in blood plasma using ELISA. IL-1beta levels in abdominal vagus nerve increased by 45 min after LPS administration and were robust by 60 min. Plasma IL-1beta levels increased by 60 min, whereas little IL-1beta was detected in cervical vagus or sciatic nerve. IL-1beta-immunoreactivity (IR) was expressed in dendritic cells and macrophages within connective tissues associated with the abdominal vagus by 45 min after intraperitoneal LPS injection. By 60 min, some immune cells located within the nerve and vagal paraganglia also expressed IL-1beta-IR. Thus, intraperitoneal LPS induced IL-1beta protein within the vagus in a time-frame consistent with signaling of immune activation. These results suggest a novel mechanism by which IL-1beta may serve as a molecular link between the immune system and vagus nerve, and thus the CNS.  (+info)

Sleep as a behavioral model of neuro-immune interactions. (2/341)

The central nervous system, by a variety of mechanisms engages in constant surveillance of the peripheral immune system. Alterations in the status of the peripheral immune system induced by an invading pathogen for example, are quickly detected by the central nervous system, which then responds by altering physiological processes and behavior in an attempt to support the immune system in its efforts to eliminate the pathogen. Sleep is one of several behaviors that are dramatically altered in response to infection. Immune-active substances such as the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor, either directly or indirectly via interactions with neurotransmitters or neurohormones are involved in the regulation of sleep. Because these cytokines increase during infection, they are likely candidates for mediating the profound alterations in sleep that occur during infection. Since regulation of behavior is the function of the central nervous system, infection-induced alterations in behavior provide a unique model for the study of neuro-immune interactions.  (+info)

alpha-MSH and its receptors in regulation of tumor necrosis factor-alpha production by human monocyte/macrophages. (3/341)

The hypothesis that macrophages contain an autocrine circuit based on melanocortin [ACTH and alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH)] peptides has major implications for neuroimmunomodulation research and inflammation therapy. To test this hypothesis, cells of the THP-1 human monocyte/macrophage line were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the presence and absence of alpha-MSH. The inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha was inhibited in relation to alpha-MSH concentration. Similar inhibitory effects on TNF-alpha were observed with ACTH peptides that contain the alpha-MSH amino acid sequence and act on melanocortin receptors. Nuclease protection assays indicated that expression of the human melanocortin-1 receptor subtype (hMC-1R) occurs in THP-1 cells; Southern blots of RT-PCR product revealed that additional subtypes, hMC-3R and hMC-5R, also occur. Incubation of resting macrophages with antibody to hMC-1R increased TNF-alpha concentration; the antibody also markedly reduced the inhibitory influence of alpha-MSH on TNF-alpha in macrophages treated with LPS. These results in cells known to produce alpha-MSH at rest and to increase secretion of the peptide when challenged are consistent with an endogenous regulatory circuit based on melanocortin peptides and their receptors. Targeting of this neuroimmunomodulatory circuit in inflammatory diseases in which myelomonocytic cells are prominent should be beneficial.  (+info)

Exacerbation of facial motoneuron loss after facial nerve transection in severe combined immunodeficient (scid) mice. (4/341)

The immune system functions to protect an organism against microbial infections and may be involved in the reparative response to nerve injury. The goal of this study was to determine whether the immune system plays a role in regulating motoneuron survival after a peripheral nerve injury. After a right facial nerve axotomy, facial motoneuron (FMN) survival in C.B-17 (+/+) wild-type mice was found to be 87 +/- 3.0% of the unaxotomized left side control. In contrast, facial nerve axotomy in C.B-17 (-/-) severe combined immunodeficient (scid) mice, lacking functional T and B lymphocytes, resulted in an average FMN survival of 55 +/- 3.5% relative to the unaxotomized left side control. This represented an approximately 40% decrease in FMN survival compared with wild-type controls. The reconstitution of scid mice with wild-type splenocytes containing T and B lymphocytes restored FMN survival in these mice to the level of the wild-type controls. These results suggest that immune cells associated with acquired immunity play a role in regulating motoneuron survival after a peripheral nerve injury.  (+info)

Immunomodulating effects of methionine enkephalin. (5/341)

Methionine enkephalin (Met-Enk), the endogenous neuropeptide, is suggested to be involved in the regulatory loop between immune and neuroendocrine systems. Our studies showed that Met-Enk over a wide range of concentrations increased interleukin-1 (IL-1) production from mouse peritoneal macrophages induced by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and naloxone did not block the enhancing effect. Met-Enk promoted the proliferation of mouse splenocyte and the production of IL-2 and IL-6 in a dose-dependent manner. The up-regulating effects of IL-2 and IL-6 not only augmented their mRNA transcription but also increased their stability. Thus Met-Enk appears to be an important immunomodulatory signaling molecule to exert regulatory actions concerned with the expressing of pre-inflammatory cytokines.  (+info)

Inflammatory cytokines IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha impart neuroprotection to an excitotoxin through distinct pathways. (6/341)

The proinflammatory cytokines IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha are produced within the CNS, and, similar to the periphery, they have pleotrophic and overlapping functions. We have shown previously that TNF-alpha increases neuronal survival to a toxic influx of calcium mediated through neuronal N-methyl-d -aspartic acid (NMDA) glutamate-gated ion channels. This process, termed excitotoxicity, is a major contributor to neuronal death following ischemia or stroke. Neuroprotection by this cytokine requires both activation of the p55/TNF receptor type I and the release of TNF-alpha from neurons, and it is inhibited by the plant alkaloid nicotine. Here, we report that other inflammatory cytokines (IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, and IL-6) are also neuroprotective to excessive NMDA challenge in our system. Neuroprotection provided by IL-1 is distinct from TNF-alpha because it is inhibited by IL-1 receptor antagonist; it is not antagonized by nicotine, but it is inhibited by a neutralizing Ab to nerve growth factor (NGF). Similar to IL-1, IL-6-mediated neuroprotection is also antagonized by pretreatment with IL-1 receptor antagonist and it is not affected by nicotine. However, neutralizing anti-NGF only partially blocks IL-6-mediated protection. These studies support an important role for distinct but overlapping neuroprotective cytokine effects in the CNS.  (+info)

Neuroimmunotoxicology: humoral assessment of neurotoxicity and autoimmune mechanisms. (7/341)

The interactions between the nervous and immune systems have been recognized in the development of neurodegenerative disease. This can be exploited through detection of the immune response to autoantigens in assessing the neurotoxicity of environmental chemicals. To test this hypothesis, the following questions were addressed. a) Are autoantibodies to nervous system (NS) antigens detected in populations exposed to environmental or occupational chemicals? In sera of male workers exposed to lead or mercury, autoantibodies, primarily IgG, to neuronal cytoskeletal proteins, neurofilaments (NFs), and myelin basic protein (MBP) were prevalent. These findings were confirmed in mice and rats exposed to either metal. b) Do autoantibodies to NS antigens relate to indices of exposure? In humans exposed to either metal, and similarly in exposed rats, titers of IgG against NFs and MBP significantly correlated with blood lead or urinary mercury, the typical indices of exposure. c) Do autoantibodies correlate with sensorimotor deficits? In workers exposed to lead or mercury, a significant correlation was observed between IgG titers and subclinical deficits. Doses of metals used in rat exposures were subclinical, suggesting that autoantibodies may be predictive of neurotoxicity. d) Is the detection indicative of nervous system pathology? In rats exposed to metals, histopathology indicated central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS) damage. In addition there was evidence of astrogliosis, which is indicative of neuronal damage in the CNS, and the presence of IgG concentrated along the blood-brain barrier, as indicated by immunostaining for antibodies. e) Are immune responses to NS antigens pathogenic? Immunoglobulin fractions from rat and human sera interfered with neuromuscular function. These studies suggest that the detection of autoantibodies to NS-specific antigens may be used to monitor the development of neurotoxicity to environmental chemicals and that immune mechanisms may be involved in the progression of neurodegeneration.  (+info)

Nutrient tasting and signaling mechanisms in the gut. II. The intestine as a sensory organ: neural, endocrine, and immune responses. (8/341)

The lining of the gastrointestinal tract is the largest vulnerable surface that faces the external environment. Just as the other large external surface, the skin, is regarded as a sensory organ, so should the intestinal mucosa. In fact, the mucosa has three types of detectors: neurons, endocrine cells, and immune cells. The mucosa is in immediate contact with the intestinal contents so that nutrients can be efficiently absorbed, and, at the same time, it protects against the intrusion of harmful entities, such as toxins and bacteria, that may enter the digestive system with food. Signals are sent locally to control motility, secretion, tissue defense, and vascular perfusion; to other digestive organs, for example, to the stomach, gallbladder, and pancreas; and to the central nervous system, for example to influence feeding behavior. The three detecting systems in the intestine are more extensive than those of any other organ: the enteric nervous system contains on the order of 10(8) neurons, the gastroenteropancreatic endocrine system uses more than 20 identified hormones, and the gut immune system has 70- 80% of the body's immune cells. The gastrointestinal tract has an integrated response to changes in its luminal contents. When this response is maladjusted or is overwhelmed, the consequences can be severe, as in cholera intoxication, or debilitating, as in irritable bowel syndrome. Thus it is essential to obtain a full understanding of the sensory functions of the intestine, of how the body reacts to the information, and of how neural, hormonal, and immune signals interact.  (+info)