Bidirectional sensory neuron-immune interactions: a new vision in the understanding of allergic inflammation

Curr Opin Immunol. 2021 Oct:72:79-86. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2021.03.012. Epub 2021 Apr 17.


Peripheral neurons (including sensory neurons) are ubiquitously distributed in all tissues, particularly at the interface with the environment. The primary function of sensory neurons is the transmission of sensations of temperature, pain and itch to elicit appropriate behavioral responses. More recently, sensory neurons have emerged as potent regulators of type 2 immune responses and allergic inflammation. There is increasing evidence showing that neurons can express receptors previously thought to be restricted to the immune compartment. In addition, certain subtypes of immune cells (e.g. mast cells, ILC2s or macrophages) also express specific neuroreceptors that provide them with the capacity to integrate neuron-derived signals and modulate their activation status during the development of allergic inflammation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Management
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Hypersensitivity / metabolism*
  • Hypersensitivity / therapy
  • Immune System / immunology*
  • Immune System / metabolism*
  • Immunomodulation
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Neuroimmunomodulation*
  • Organ Specificity / immunology
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators