<Title:> Senso-immunology: The Emerging Connection between Pain and Immunity
<Author(s):> Kenta Maruyama
<Corresponding author E-Mill:> maruken(at)nips.ac.jp
<Abstract:> The sensory and immune systems have been studied independently for a long time, whereas the interaction between the two has received little attention. We have carried out research to understand the interaction between the sensory and immune systems and have found that inflammation and bone destruction caused by fungal infection are suppressed by nociceptors. Furthermore, we have elucidated the molecular mechanism whereby fungal receptors are expressed on nociceptors and skin epithelium, how they cooperate to generate fungal pain, and how colitis and bone metabolism are regulated by mechanosensors expressed on the gut epithelium. Recently, we found that nociceptors prevent septic death by inhibiting microglia via nociceptor-derived hormones. This review summarizes our current state of knowledge on pain biology and outlines the mechanisms whereby pain and immunity interact. Our findings indicate that the sensory and immune systems share a variety of molecules and interact with each other to regulate our pathological and homeostatic conditions. This prompted us to advocate the interdisciplinary science named “senso-immunology,” and this emerging field is expected to generate new ideas in both physiology and immunology, leading to the development of novel drugs to treat pain and inflammation.
<Keywords:> physiology, immunology, pain, infection