Nerve pathways responding to and controlling inflammation in the intestine

Researcher

Project Details

It is well known that enteric nerves respond to inflammation, causing changes in the function of the gut, but recently it has become clear that nerves also act back on the immune cells in the gut to control inflammation. Changes in the nerve pathways that sense and control inflammation in the gut may contribute to disease, such as inflammatory bowel disease.

This study aims to better understand the nerve pathways that sense inflammation in the intestine and control the innate immune cells that mediate inflammatory reactions in the gut. It will also determine how these nerves change in inflammatory conditions of the bowel both in animals and in humans.

You will use neuronal tracing and molecular techniques to identify the neurons that project to and control immune cells of the gut. You will also use electrophysiological recordings, immunohistochemical and molecular techniques to study the responses of these neurons and changes in their properties during acute and chronic inflammation of the gut in animal and human tissue.

Researchers

Research supervisor:

  • Dr Martin Stebbing

Project members:

  • Professor Robin McAllen, Professor John Furness

Collaborators

  • Dr Peter De Cruz

Research Publications

Komegae EN, Farmer DGS, Brooks VL, McKinley MJ, McAllen RM, Martelli D. Vagal afferent activation suppresses systemic inflammation via the splanchnic anti-inflammatory pathway. Brain Behav Immun. (2018)

O’Sullivan-Greene E, Kameneva, T, Trevaks D, Shafton, A, Payne SC, McAllen, R, Furness, JB, Grayden, DB: Modeling experimental recordings of vagal afferent signaling of intestinal inflammation for neuromodulation.  J Neural Eng in press 2018

Payne, SC, Furness JB, Stebbing, MJ: Bioelectric neuromodulation for gastrointestinal disorders: effectiveness and mechanisms. Nature Rev Gastro Hepatol in press 2018

Research Group

Furness laboratory: Digestive physiology and nutrition



Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology, Neuroscience



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Anatomy and Neuroscience

Unit / Centre

Furness laboratory: Digestive physiology and nutrition


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