Speaker: JIN HAO

Time: 16:00-17:00 PM(Tuesday), 16 July , 2024

Venue: Room 111, Lynn Library

A Body-brain Circuit Regulating Body Inflammatory Responses

Topic: A Body-brain Circuit Regulating Body Inflammatory Responses

Speaker: JIN HAO

Time16:00-17:00 PM(Tuesday), 16  July , 2024

VenueRoom 111, Lynn Library


The brain is the principal conductor of a symphony of body physiology, exquisitely sensing and controlling organ function, metabolism, and nutritional state through a myriad of body-brain communicative pathways. Our research explored how body-brain connections enable the brain to monitor and regulate body immune reactions. We show that a peripheral immune insult powerfully activates the body-brain axis to regulate inflammatory responses. We demonstrate that pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines communicate with distinct populations of vagal sensory neurons to inform the brain of an emerging inflammatory response.  In turn, the brain tightly modulates the course of the peripheral immune response. Genetic silencing of this body-to-brain circuit produced unregulated and out-of-control inflammatory responses.  By contrast, activating, rather than silencing, this circuit afforded exceptional neural control of immune responses. We used single-cell RNA sequencing, combined with functional imaging, to identify the circuit components (including peripheral transducers, central interpreter/integrator, and central regulator) of this neuro-immune axis, and showed that its selective manipulation can effectively suppress the pro-inflammatory response while enhancing an anti-inflammatory state.  The brain-evoked transformation of the course of an immune response opens up new possibilities in the modulation of a wide range of immune disorders, from autoimmune diseases to cytokine storm and shock.


Dr. Jin Hao received his Bachelor of Science degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He completed his Ph.D. in the National University of Singapore on the developmental biology of blood stem and immune cells. He was then trained as a postdoc in Columbia University where he switched to study the neurobiology of mammalian taste. In 2022, he began his new position as a tenure-track investigator in the Laboratory of Host Immunity and Microbiome (LHIM) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). His current research focuses on the interactions between the immune and nervous systems to reveal the multifaceted neural regulation of immune responses.

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