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Papers of the Week

Papers: 23 Mar 2024 - 29 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 27



Editor's Pick

CGRP sensory neurons promote tissue healing via neutrophils and macrophages.


Lu YZ, Nayer B, Singh SK, Alshoubaki YK, Yuan E, Park AJ, Maruyama K, Akira S, Martino MM


The immune system has a critical role in orchestrating tissue healing. As a result, regenerative strategies that control immune components have proved effective. This is particularly relevant when immune dysregulation that results from conditions such as diabetes or advanced age impairs tissue healing following injury. Nociceptive sensory neurons have a crucial role as immunoregulators and exert both protective and harmful effects depending on the context. However, how neuro-immune interactions affect tissue repair and regeneration following acute injury is unclear. Here we show that ablation of the Na1.8 nociceptor impairs skin wound repair and muscle regeneration after acute tissue injury. Nociceptor endings grow into injured skin and muscle tissues and signal to immune cells through the neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) during the healing process. CGRP acts via receptor activity-modifying protein 1 (RAMP1) on neutrophils, monocytes and macrophages to inhibit recruitment, accelerate death, enhance efferocytosis and polarize macrophages towards a pro-repair phenotype. The effects of CGRP on neutrophils and macrophages are mediated via thrombospondin-1 release and its subsequent autocrine and/or paracrine effects. In mice without nociceptors and diabetic mice with peripheral neuropathies, delivery of an engineered version of CGRP accelerated wound healing and promoted muscle regeneration. Harnessing neuro-immune interactions has potential to treat non-healing tissues in which dysregulated neuro-immune interactions impair tissue healing.