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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 May 2021 - 21 May 2021

Animal Studies

2021 May 18

Nat Commun



Editor's Pick

Nociceptive sensory neurons promote CD8 T cell responses to HSV-1 infection.


Filtjens J, Roger A, Quatrini L, Wieduwild E, Gouilly J, Hoeffel G, Rossignol R, Daher C, Debroas G, Henri S, Jones CM, Malissen B, Mackay LK, Moqrich A, Carbone FR, Ugolini S
Nat Commun. 2021 May 18; 12(1):2936.
PMID: 34006861.


Host protection against cutaneous herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection relies on the induction of a robust adaptive immune response. Here, we show that Nav sensory neurons, which are involved in pain perception, control the magnitude of CD8 T cell priming and expansion in HSV-1-infected mice. The ablation of Nav-expressing sensory neurons is associated with extensive skin lesions characterized by enhanced inflammatory cytokine and chemokine production. Mechanistically, Nav sensory neurons are required for the downregulation of neutrophil infiltration in the skin after viral clearance to limit the severity of tissue damage and restore skin homeostasis, as well as for eliciting robust CD8 T cell priming in skin-draining lymph nodes by controlling dendritic cell responses. Collectively, our data reveal an important role for the sensory nervous system in regulating both innate and adaptive immune responses to viral infection, thereby opening up possibilities for new therapeutic strategies.