Brain circuits controlling intestinal inflammation
© Giuseppe D'Agostino
Aim of Research
The caudal brainstem, and particularly the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), is of critical importance for pathophysiological signals reaching the brain from the gastrointestinal tract. During inflammation, signals from the gut can be integrated in the NTS to initiate a peripherally directed anti-inflammatory response. However, the neuronal circuits underlying this response are unknown, with no genetic, neurochemical and anatomical information available. This gap in knowledge prevents the development of novel anti-inflammatory strategies. Our team has identified discrete subsets of genetically identified neurons in the NTS that are responsive to microbial and inflammatory stimuli.