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Sophie Ugolini (CIML, Marseille) : “Neuroendocrine regulation of immunity”
14 December 2017 | 13 h 30 min - 14 h 30 min
Upon infection, the immune system produces inflammatory mediators important for pathogen clearance. However, inflammation can also have deleterious effect on the host and is tightly regulated. Immune system-derived cytokines stimulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, triggering endogenous glucocorticoid production. Through interaction with ubiquitously expressed glucocorticoid receptors (GRs), this steroid hormone has pleiotropic effects on many cell types. Using a genetic mouse model in which the gene encoding the GR is selectively deleted in NKp46+ innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), we demonstrated a major role for the HPA pathway in host resistance to endotoxin-induced septic shock. GR expression in group 1 ILCs is required to limit their IFN-γ production, thereby allowing the development of IL-10-dependent tolerance to endotoxin. The role of this neuroendocrine-immune regulatory pathway was also investigated in the context of mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection. Our studies suggest that neuroendocrine axes are crucial for tolerization of the innate immune system to pathogen exposure through direct corticosterone-mediated effects on NKp46-expressing innate cells, revealing a novel strategy of host protection from immunopathology.