Nicotine may attenuate autoimmunity and central nervous system inflammation. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Nicotinic attenuation of central nervous system inflammation and autoimmunity.
J Immunol. 2009 Feb 1;182(3):1730-9. PMID: 19155522
The expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by neurons, microglia, and astrocytes suggests possibly diverse mechanisms by which natural nicotinic cholinergic signaling and exposure to nicotine could modulate immune responses within the CNS. In this study, we show that nicotine exposure significantly delays and attenuates inflammatory and autoimmune responses to myelin Ags in the mouse experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis model. In the periphery, nicotine exposure inhibits the proliferation of autoreactive T cells and alters the cytokine profile of helper T cells. In the CNS, nicotine exposure selectively reduces numbers of CD11c(+) dendritic and CD11b(+) infiltrating monocytes and resident microglial cells and down-regulates the expression of MHC class II, CD80, and CD86 molecules on these cells. The results underscore roles of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and nicotinic cholinergic signaling in inflammatory and immune responses and suggest novel therapeutic options for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, including those that affect the CNS.