Vagus nerve stimulation and inflammation: expanding the scope beyond cytokines

Author: Aidan Falvey1
1 Institute of Bioelectronic Medicine, The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, Northwell Health, 350 Community Drive, 11030, Manhasset, NY, USA.
Conference/Journal: Bioelectron Med
Date published: 2022 Dec 1
Other: Volume ID: 8 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 19 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1186/s42234-022-00100-3. , Word Count: 133

Approximately 20 years ago it was discovered that the vagus nerve regulates pro-inflammatory cytokine levels and inflammation. Subsequent research using several preclinical models revealed that vagus nerve stimulation evokes a protective decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines in multiple inflammatory disorders. Consequently, the pro- and anti- inflammatory cytokine balance has become the predominant readout for indicating a positive outcome of vagus nerve stimulation. However, cytokine levels are just a single aspect of an effective immune response. It is conceivable that vagus nerve stimulation regulates inflammation through additional mechanisms. In this letter, I discuss a manuscript that describes how vagus nerve stimulation promotes resolution of inflammation via regulating the balance of specialised pro-resolving mediator levels and neutrophil activity.

Keywords: Cytokines; Inflammation; Inflammatory reflex; Neutrophils; Resolution; Specialized pro-resolving mediators; Vagus nerve stimulation.

PMID: 36457107 DOI: 10.1186/s42234-022-00100-3