Novel mediators and mechanisms in the resolution of infectious inflammation: evidence for vagus regulation.
Excessive chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases and considered a stress factor in humans (Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 1999, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2008, 105: 17949, Immunity, 44, 2016, 44: 463, N Engl J Med, 2011, 364: 656). Today, the resolution of inflammation is widely recognized as a cellular biochemically active process involving biosynthesis of a novel superfamily of endogenous chemical signals coined specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs; Nature, 2014, 510:92). Herein, we review recent evidence, indicating a role for the vagus nerve and vagotomy in the regulation of lipid mediators. Vagotomy reduces pro-resolving mediators, including the lipoxins, resolvins, protectins and maresins, delaying resolution in mouse peritonitis. Vagotomy also delays resolution of Escherichia coli infection in mice. Specifically, right vagus regulates peritoneal Group 3 innate lymphoid cell (ILC-3) number and peritoneal macrophage responses with lipid mediator profile signatures with elevated pro-inflammatory eicosanoids and reduced resolvins, including the novel protective immunoresolvent agonist protectin conjugate in tissue regeneration1 (PCTR1). Acetylcholine upregulates PCTR biosynthesis, and administration of PCTR1 to vagotomized mice restores tissue resolution and host responses to E. coli infections. Results obtained with human vagus ex vivo indicate that vagus can produce both pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes, as well as the SPM. Electrical stimulation of human vagus in vitro reduces both prostaglandins and leukotrienes and enhances resolvins and the other SPM. These results elucidate a host protective mechanism mediated by vagus stimulation of SPM that includes resolvins and PCTR1 to regulate myeloid antimicrobial functions and resolution of infection. Moreover, they define a new pro-resolution of inflammation reflex operative in mice and human tissue that involves a vagus SPM circuit.