Parameters matter: modulating cytokines using nerve stimulation.
The vagus nerve-based inflammatory reflex regulates inflammation and cytokine release. Recent successful clinical trials using implantable bioelectronic devices to modulate the inflammatory reflex in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease have demonstrated the efficacy of targeting neural circuits as an efficient alternative to drug treatments. However, the optimal vagus nerve stimulation parameters to achieve efficacious symptomatic relief for inflammation are still unknown. In this issue of Bioelectronic Medicine, Tsaava et al. tested whether altering these electrical stimulation parameters would change circulating cytokine levels in healthy mice. They found that specific combinations of parameters produced significant increases in serum TNF while other parameters selectively lowered serum TNF levels, as compared to sham stimulated mice. These results have considerable implications for determining the optimal stimulation parameters to better treat common conditions and diseases that involve immune regulation.
PMID: 32607391 [PubMed]
Bioelectron Med. 2020;6:12
Authors: Bonaz B