The Neuroendocrine Axis: The Nervous System and Inflammation

  • K. Weismüller
  • M. A. Weigand
  • S. Hofer
Part of the Annual Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (AUICEM, volume 2012)


Inflammation is the physiological answer of the organism to damage affecting its integrity, such as infection or trauma. In inflammation, cells of the immune system release cytokines and other mediators, which contribute to the destruction of bacteria and tissue repair. We distinguish here between pro-inflammatory cytokines, e.g., interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- a, and anti-inflammatory cytokines, e.g., IL-10 and IL-4. Local mechanisms regulate the extent of the inflammatory answer needed to remove the source of the damage and to maintain homeostasis. Humoral as well as neuronal mediators contribute to the regulation of inflammation. Humoral anti-inflammatory mediators, e.g., IL-10 and glucocorticoids, inhibit the release or effect of pro-inflammatory cytokines whereas lipoxins and resolvins contribute to tissue repair. Humoral mediators reach their target cells in distant organs by diffusion or transport by blood flow. Substances which are released by nerves, e.g., norepinephrine and acetylcholine, reach specific cell groups of distant organs rapidly [1].


Vagus Nerve Polymicrobial Sepsis Experimental Sepsis Neuroendocrine Axis Serum Tumor Necrosis Factor Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Weismüller
  • M. A. Weigand
  • S. Hofer

There are no affiliations available

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