Neuroimmune regulation during intestinal development and homeostasis

Nat Immunol. 2017 Feb;18(2):116-122. doi: 10.1038/ni.3634. Epub 2017 Jan 16.


Interactions between the nervous system and immune system are required for organ function and homeostasis. Evidence suggests that enteric neurons and intestinal immune cells share common regulatory mechanisms and can coordinate their responses to developmental challenges and environmental aggressions. These discoveries shed light on the physiology of system interactions and open novel perspectives for therapy designs that target underappreciated neurological-immunological commonalities. Here we highlight findings that address the importance of neuroimmune cell units (NICUs) in intestinal development, homeostasis and disease.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Immune System*
  • Intestinal Diseases / immunology*
  • Intestinal Diseases / therapy
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Intestines / embryology
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / metabolism
  • Microbiota
  • Nervous System*
  • Neural Crest
  • Neurogenesis*
  • Neuroglia / physiology
  • Neuroimmunomodulation*


  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor