Nov 30, 2019

Antibody responses to immunization require sensory neurons

Aisling TynanKevin J. Tracey


Mammals store memories in the nervous and immune systems. Sensory neurons have been implicated in enhancing neurological memory, but whether neurons participate during immunity to novel antigens is unknown. Here, mice rendered deficient in transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1)-expressing sensory neurons, termed nociceptors, fail to develop competent antibody responses to KLH and hapten-NP. Moreover, selective optogenetic stimulation of TRPV1 neurons during immunization significantly enhanced antibody responses to antigens. Thus, TRPV1 nociceptors mediate antibody responses to novel antigen, and stimulating TRPV1 nociceptors enhances antibody responses during immunization. This is the first genetic and selective functional evidence that nociceptors are required during immunization to produce antigen-specific antibodies.

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Keyhole-limpet hemocyanin
Afferent Neuron
Specific antibody

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