Pulmonary innervation, inflammation and carcinogenesis

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LIANG Yong-Jie(Department of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA)
ZHOU Ping(Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology,Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China)
Warangkhana WONGBA(Department of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA)
Juan GUARDIOLA(Department of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA)
Jerome WALKER(Department of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA)
Jerry YU(Department of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA;Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology,Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China)
Journal Title:
Volume 62, Issue 03, 2010
Key Word:
airway sensor;vagal afferent;cancer;lung;neuroimmune

Abstract: Lung cancer is a major medical problem. Despite advances in molecular biology and pharmacology, the outcome of lung cancer treatment is unsatisfactory. Clinically, inflammation and cancer are closely associated, and, genetically, these two processes are regulated by the same gene loci. Inflammation promotes cancer formation. Increasing evidence shows that neuroimmune interaction involving inflammatory disease and the vagus nerves are crucial in the interaction. Airway sensory receptors are biosensors that detect the lung inflammatory process through various mediators and cytokines. This information is transmitted through vagal afferents to the brain and produces a host of responses that regulate the extent and intensity of inflammation. Tumor cells express receptors for neurotransmitters and provide a substrate for direct interaction with neurons. Thus, neural regulation of the immune response is targeted towards inflammation as well as tumors. The airway sensors can detect cancer-related cytokines, which provides a direct pathway to inform the brain of tumor growth. The knowledge of how these sensors may monitor tumor progression and provide neuroimmune interaction in the control of tumor development and metastasis will improve our treatment of lung cancer.

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