Nutritional stimulation of the autonomic nervous system

M.D.P. Luyer*, Q. Habes, R. van Hak, W.A. Buurman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Disturbance of the inflammatory response in the gut is important in several clinical diseases ranging from inflammatory bowel disease to postoperative ileus. Several feedback mechanisms exist that control the inflammatory cascade and avoid collateral damage. In the gastrointestinal tract, it is of particular importance to control the immune response to maintain the balance that allows dietary uptake and utilization of nutrients on one hand, while preventing invasion of bacteria and toxins on the other hand. The process of digestion and absorption of nutrients requires a relative hyporesponsiveness of the immune cells in the gut to luminal contents which is not yet fully understood. Recently, the autonomic nervous system has been identified as an important pathway to control local and systemic inflammation and gut barrier integrity. Activation of the pathway is possible via electrical or via pharmacological interventions, but is also achieved in a physiological manner by ingestion of dietary lipids. Administration of dietary lipids has been shown to be very effective in reducing the inflammatory cascade and maintaining intestinal barrier integrity in several experimental studies. This beneficial effect of nutrition on the inflammatory response and intestinal barrier integrity opens new therapeutic opportunities for treatment of certain gastrointestinal disorders. Furthermore, this neural feedback mechanism provides more insight in the relative hyporesponsiveness of the immune cells in the gut. Here, we will discuss the regulatory function of the autonomic nervous system on the inflammatory response and gut barrier function and the potential benefit in a clinical setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3859-3863
Number of pages5
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume17
Issue number34
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2011

Keywords

  • Inflammation
  • Nutrition
  • Acetylcholine
  • Intestinal barrier
  • Innate immunity
  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Cholecystokinin
  • CHOLINERGIC ANTIINFLAMMATORY PATHWAY
  • NECROSIS-FACTOR-ALPHA
  • RICH ENTERAL NUTRITION
  • VAGUS NERVE
  • POSTOPERATIVE ILEUS
  • HEMORRHAGIC-SHOCK
  • CHOLECYSTOKININ-RECEPTORS
  • BARRIER FUNCTION
  • POLYMICROBIAL SEPSIS
  • REDUCES ENDOTOXIN

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