Abstract: Series 113, Lecture 6

The Harvey Lectures Series 113 (2017—2018)

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Lecture #6: Thursday, April 19, 2018 — Watch Video of Lecture

Eavesdropping on Conversations Between the Brain and the Immune System

Kevin J Tracey, MD

Kevin J Tracey, MD

President and CEO, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Professor & Director, The Center for Biomedical Science, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Professor, Molecular Medicine & Neurosurgery, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Manhasset, New York

Dr Tracey's Website

Inflammation is a locally protective response to infection or injury. Health is established when the magnitude and duration of inflammatory responses are controlled precisely; because when it is either excessive or insufficient the viability of the host is compromised. Vertebrates have two systems that can establish memory: the nervous system and the immune system. In the inflammatory reflex, a prototypical model of interaction between these two systems, signals propagating in vagus nerve axons control inflammatory responses in the spleen and other body organs. The underlying anatomic, neurophysiological, and molecular mechanisms expand our understanding of how the nervous system modulates the immune system. And provides a new opportunity to use bioelectronic devices targeting reflex neural circuits to treat inflammatory diseases in successful clinical trials.