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Papers of the Week

Papers: 18 Jan 2020 - 24 Jan 2020

Animal Studies

2020 06 11

J Infect Dis



Sensory nociceptive neurons contribute to host protection during enteric infection with Citrobacter rodentium.


Ramirez VT, Sladek J, Godinez D R, Rude KM, Chicco P, Murray K, Brust-Mascher I, Gareau MG, Reardon C
J Infect Dis. 2020 06 11; 221(12):1978-1988.
PMID: 31960920.


Neurons are an integral component of the immune system that functions to coordinate responses to bacterial pathogens. Sensory nociceptive neurons that can detect bacterial pathogens are found throughout the body with dense innervation of the intestinal tract. Here we assessed the role of these nerves in the coordination of host defenses to Citrobacter rodentium. Selective ablation of nociceptive neurons significantly increased bacterial burden 10 days post infection and delayed pathogen clearance. Since the sensory neuropeptide CGRP regulates host-responses during infection of the skin, lung, and small intestine, we assessed the role of CGRP receptor signaling during C. rodentium infection. Although CGRP receptor blockade reduced certain pro-inflammatory gene expression, bacterial burden and Il-22 expression was unaffected. Our data highlight that sensory nociceptive neurons exert a significant host protective role during C. rodentium infection, independent of CGRP receptor signaling.