Neural control of the spleen as an effector of immune responses to inflammation: mechanisms and treatments

Clarissa M.D. Mota, Christopher J. Madden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Immune system responses are a vital defense mechanism against pathogens. Inflammatory mediators finely regulate complex inflammatory responses from initiation to resolution. However, in certain conditions, the inflammation is initiated and amplified, but not resolved. Understanding the biological mechanisms underlying the regulation of the immune response is critical for developing therapeutic alternatives, including pharmaceuticals and bioelectronic tools. The spleen is an important immune effector organ since it orchestrates innate and adaptive immune responses such as pathogen clearance, cytokine production, and differentiation of cells, therefore playing a modulatory role that balances pro- and anti-inflammatory responses. However, modulation of splenic immune activity is a largely unexplored potential therapeutic tool that could be used for the treatment of inflammatory and life-threatening conditions. This review discusses some of the mechanisms controlling neuroimmune communication and the brain-spleen axis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R375-R384
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • autonomic nervous system
  • brain
  • inflammation
  • inflammatory reflex
  • neuroimmune axis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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