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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb 23

Int J Mol Sci



The Interplay between Autonomic Nervous System and Inflammation across Systemic Autoimmune Diseases.


Bellocchi C, Carandina A, Montinaro B, Targetti E, Furlan L, Dias Rodrigues G, Tobaldini E, Montano N
Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Feb 23; 23(5).
PMID: 35269591.


The autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the immune system are deeply interrelated. The ANS regulates both innate and adaptive immunity through the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches, and an imbalance in this system can determine an altered inflammatory response as typically observed in chronic conditions such as systemic autoimmune diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and systemic sclerosis all show a dysfunction of the ANS that is mutually related to the increase in inflammation and cardiovascular risk. Moreover, an interaction between ANS and the gut microbiota has direct effects on inflammation homeostasis. Recently vagal stimulation techniques have emerged as an unprecedented possibility to reduce ANS dysfunction, especially in chronic diseases characterized by pain and a decreased quality of life as well as in chronic inflammation.