Mahendar Ochani

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Excessive inflammation and tumour-necrosis factor (TNF) synthesis cause morbidity and mortality in diverse human diseases including endotoxaemia, sepsis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Highly conserved, endogenous mechanisms normally regulate the magnitude of innate immune responses and prevent excessive inflammation. The nervous(More)
Physiological anti-inflammatory mechanisms can potentially be exploited for the treatment of inflammatory disorders. Here we report that the neurotransmitter acetylcholine inhibits HMGB1 release from human macrophages by signaling through a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Nicotine, a selective cholinergic agonist, is more efficient than acetylcholine and(More)
Despite significant advances in intensive care therapy and antibiotics, severe sepsis accounts for 9% of all deaths in the United States annually. The pathological sequelae of sepsis are characterized by a systemic inflammatory response, but experimental therapeutics that target specific early inflammatory mediators [tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and(More)
Efferent activity in the vagus nerve can prevent endotoxin-induced shock by attenuating tumor necrosis factor (TNF) synthesis. Termed the "cholinergic antiinflammatory pathway," inhibition of TNF synthesis is dependent on nicotinic alpha-bungarotoxin-sensitive acetylcholine receptors on macrophages. Vagus nerve firing is also stimulated by CNI-1493, a(More)
Sepsis, a potentially fatal clinical syndrome, is mediated by an early (e.g., tumor necrosis factor and IL-1) and late [e.g., high mobility group B-1 (HMGB1)] proinflammatory cytokine response to infection. Specifically targeting early mediators has not been effective clinically, in part because peak mediator activity often has passed before therapy can be(More)
During infection, vertebrates develop "sickness syndrome," characterized by fever, anorexia, behavioral withdrawal, acute-phase protein responses, and inflammation. These pathophysiological responses are mediated by cytokines, including TNF and IL-1, released during the innate immune response to invasion. Even in the absence of infection, qualitatively(More)
Neural circuits regulate cytokine production to prevent potentially damaging inflammation. A prototypical vagus nerve circuit, the inflammatory reflex, inhibits tumor necrosis factor-α production in spleen by a mechanism requiring acetylcholine signaling through the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expressed on cytokine-producing macrophages. Nerve(More)
The innate immune system protects against infection and tissue injury through the specialized organs of the reticuloendothelial system, including the lungs, liver, and spleen. The central nervous system regulates innate immune responses via the vagus nerve, a mechanism termed the cholinergic antiinflammatory pathway. Vagus nerve stimulation inhibits(More)
High mobility group box 1 (HMGB), a ubiquitous DNA-binding protein, has been implicated as a proinflammatory cytokine and late mediator of lethal endotoxemia. HMGB1 is released by activated macrophages. It amplifies and extends the inflammatory response by inducing cytokine release and mediating acute lung injury, anorexia, and the inflammatory response to(More)
The autonomic nervous system maintains homeostasis through its sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions. During infection, cells of the immune system release cytokines and other mediators that cause fever, hypotension, and tissue injury. Although the effect of cytokines on the nervous system has been known for decades, only recently has it become evident(More)