Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 35501356
Link to DOI – 10.1038/s41385-022-00516-9
Mucosal Immunol 2022 04; 15(4): 629-641
The nervous system and the immune system both rely on an extensive set of modalities to perceive and act on perturbations in the internal and external environments. During feeding, the intestine is exposed to nutrients that may contain noxious substances and pathogens. Here we show that Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP), produced by the nervous system in response to feeding, potentiates the production of effector cytokines by intestinal type 2 and type 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s and ILC3s). Exposure to VIP alone leads to modest activation of ILCs, but strongly potentiates ILCs to concomitant or subsequent activation by the inducer cytokines IL-33 or IL-23, via mobilization of cAMP and energy by glycolysis. Consequently, VIP increases resistance to intestinal infection by the helminth Trichuris muris and the enterobacteria Citrobacter rodentium. These findings uncover a functional neuro-immune crosstalk unfolding during feeding that increases the reactivity of innate immunity necessary to face potential threats associated with food intake.