Immune Responses in the Cortex

I found this article interesting, albeit mostly unrelated to HTM stuff.

Before this research, the accepted scientific theory (taught to me in school) was that swelling & inflammation is an automatic and local process, that the brain had nothing to do with it. But here they found that the brain is actually in control of inflammation.

Insular cortex neurons encode and retrieve specific immune responses

Summary: Increasing evidence indicates that the brain regulates peripheral immunity, yet whether and how the brain represents the state of the immune system remains unclear. Here, we show that the brain’s insular cortex (InsCtx) stores immune-related information. Using activity-dependent cell labeling in mice (Fos TRAP ), we captured neuronal ensembles in the InsCtx that were active under two different inflammatory conditions (dextran sulfate sodium [DSS]-induced colitis and zymosan-induced peritonitis). Chemogenetic reactivation of these neuronal ensembles was sufficient to broadly retrieve the inflammatory state under which these neurons were captured. Thus, we show that the brain can store and retrieve specific immune responses, extending the classical concept of immunological memory to neuronal representations of inflammatory information.