alexa A fundamental bimodal role for neuropeptide Y1 receptor in the immune system.


Internal Medicine: Open Access

Author(s): Wheway J, Mackay CR, Newton RA, Sainsbury A, Boey D,

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Abstract Psychological conditions, including stress, compromise immune defenses. Although this concept is not novel, the molecular mechanism behind it remains unclear. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the central nervous system is a major regulator of numerous physiological functions, including stress. Postganglionic sympathetic nerves innervating lymphoid organs release NPY, which together with other peptides activate five Y receptors (Y1, Y2, Y4, Y5, and y(6)). Using Y1-deficient (Y1(-/-)) mice, we showed that Y1(-/-) T cells are hyperresponsive to activation and trigger severe colitis after transfer into lymphopenic mice. Thus, signaling through Y1 receptor on T cells inhibits T cell activation and controls the magnitude of T cell responses. Paradoxically, Y1(-/-) mice were resistant to T helper type 1 (Th1) cell-mediated inflammatory responses and showed reduced levels of the Th1 cell-promoting cytokine interleukin 12 and reduced interferon gamma production. This defect was due to functionally impaired antigen-presenting cells (APCs), and consequently, Y1(-/-) mice had reduced numbers of effector T cells. These results demonstrate a fundamental bimodal role for the Y1 receptor in the immune system, serving as a strong negative regulator on T cells as well as a key activator of APC function. Our findings uncover a sophisticated molecular mechanism regulating immune cell functions that can lead to stress-induced immunosuppression.
This article was published in J Exp Med and referenced in Internal Medicine: Open Access

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