Inflammation is generally a temporary and limited condition but may lead to a chronic one if immune and physiological homeostasis are disrupted. The autonomic nervous system has an important role in the short- and, also, long-term regulation of homeostasis and, thus, on inflammation. Autonomic modulation in acute and chronic inflammation has been implicated with a sympathetic interference in the earlier stages of the inflammatory process and the activation of the vagal inflammatory reflex to regulate innate immune responses and cytokine functional effects in longer processes. The present review focuses on the autonomic mechanisms controlling proinflammatory responses, and we will discuss novel therapeutic options linked to autonomic modulation for diseases associated with a chronic inflammatory condition such as sepsis.
Part of the book: Autonomic Nervous System