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Relations neurodigestives et stimulation vagale basse-fréquence chez le rat anesthésié : implications du système nerveux central et du système immunitaire

Abstract : Introduction High frequency(30 Hz)vagus nerve stimulation(VNS)has been approved as a treatment for some types of epilepsy and depression in humans. Low-frequency (5 Hz)VNS has also been successful for the treatment of different animal inflammation models, notably digestive inflammation. Recent studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory effect is induced by the activation of the efferent vagal fibers, which secrete acetylcholine in periphery. It links itself to α-7-nicotinic receptors on the macrophages surface, inhibiting the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This pathway is known by the name of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. However, the mechanism of action of low-frequency VNS remains unclear and other pathways could be involved implicating the central nervous system (CNS) and the immune system. Aim The aim of this study was to evaluate the implication of the CNS and the immune system in the modulation of inflammation induced by low-frequency VNS in an anaesthetized rat model. Firstly, to study the implication of the CNS and the contribution of the afferent vagal fibers during 5Hz VNS, a study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on a «healthy» anaesthetized rat model was carried out. Secondly, an experiment on the effect of VNS on splenic immune cells as well as on the digestive tract was fulfilled on a «healthy» rat model followed by a study on a rat model of colitis induced by intracolonic injection of trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS). Results fMRI data brought to light an important role of the afferent vagal fibers. They modulate some structures of the CNS which could contribute to the modulation of digestive inflammation by 5Hz VNS. The studies carried out by FACS on the sub-populations of splenic lymphocytes revealed that other immune cells than macrophages could be implicated by VNS. In the «healthy» rat model, with no digestive inflammation, FACS data show that 3h VNS decreases T CD4 lymphocytes activation and the percentage of NKT in relation to T lymphocytes. These data are in favor of an inhibiting role of VNS on lymphocytes activation and also has an impact on NKT cells which have immunoregulatory properties. 3h VNS does not have the same effect on the rat model of colitis. In fact, the quantification of secreted cytokines by cultured splenocytes show that VNS increases the potential of IL-10(anti-iflammatory)cytokine by splenocytes and particularly splenic T CD4 lymphocytes. In the same way, the anti-inflammatory effect of VNS is seen in the transverse colon (above the lesions): decrease of TNF-α and SOCS3 mRNA and of myeloperoxidase. These results show a role of VNS on the functionality of splenic T CD4 lymphocytes inducing an important secretion of IL-10. 3h low-frequency VNS turns the immune response towards an anti-inflammatory response during the early phase of digestive inflammation. Moreover, VNS anti-inflammatory effect is seen in the transverse colon, above the lesions. Conclusion These results reveal that other pathways implicating different cell types are potentially involved besides the classic cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway by low-frequency VNS. It implicates CNS by the activation of vagal afferents and splenic immune cells such as T CD4 lymphocytes and NKT cells. An anti-inflammatory effect of VNS is found in the transverse colon (above the lesions) even during the initiation phase of digestive inflammation, but not in the distal colon (in the lesions). These date have therapeutic implications: low-frequency VNS is being clinically tested at the moment as a treatment for Crohn's disease.
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Chloé Picq. Relations neurodigestives et stimulation vagale basse-fréquence chez le rat anesthésié : implications du système nerveux central et du système immunitaire. Sciences agricoles. Université de Grenoble, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012GRENV037⟩. ⟨tel-00771669⟩

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