Neuromodulation and Immunity in Osteopathy

Neuromodulation of the Immune System via the Splenic Nerve

Neuromodulation of immune function by stimulating the autonomic connections to the spleen has been demonstrated in rodent models. 

Splenic nerve stimulation was found to promote cardiovascular protection as well as cytokine modulation in a high- and a low-dose lipopolysaccharide model, respectively.

Importantly, splenic nerve-induced cytokine modulation was reproduced by stimulating the efferent trunk of the cervical vagus nerve. 

Immune responses can be modulated by stimulation of spleen-targeted autonomic nerves in translational species and identifies splenic nerve stimulation parameters and biomarkers that are directly applicable to humans due to anatomical and electrophysiological similarities.

For osteopaths, this could be a good reason to treat the thoracic segment of the spleen (T6-9), the coeliac ganglion area as well as the upper cervicals (vagus nerve activation) in patients with autoimmune diseases.

 

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