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Neuroimmune control of the pulmonary immune response

: Braun, A.; Renz, H.

Bienenstock, J.:
Autonomic neuroimmunology
London: Taylor & Francis, 2003 (The autonomic nervous system 15)
ISBN: 0-415-30658-2
Book Article
Fraunhofer ITEM ()
airway hyperreactivity; NGF; neuroimmunology; pulmonary toxicology; immune response; allergy; Asthma; inflammation; Neuron; Neurotrophin; T cells

Allergic bronchial asthma (BA) is characterized by chronic inflammation of the airways, development of airway hyper-reactivity (AHR) and recurrent reversible airway obstruction. Target and effector cells responsible for AHR and airway obstruction include sensory and motor neurons as well as epothelial and smooth muscle cells. Although it is well established that the inflammatory process in controlled by T-helper (Th) 2 cells and the Th2-derived cytokines interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5 and IL-13, the mechanisms by which immune cells interact with neurons, epithelial cells or smooth muscle cells still remain uncertain. Since there is growing evidence for extensive communication between neurons and immune cells, the mechanisms of this neuro-immune crosstalk in lung and airway of asthmatic patients are recently becoming the focus of asthma research. This chapter will review the current literature on this subject and develop a hypothetical concept of bi-directional pathways connecting the nervous and the immune systems.