The nervous and immune systems use bi-directional communication to control host responses against microbial pathogens. Recent studies at the interface of the two systems have highlighted important roles of the nervous system in the regulation of both microbicidal pathways and pathogen avoidance behaviors. Studies on the neural circuits in the simple model host Caenorhabditis elegans have significantly improved our understanding of the roles of conserved neural mechanisms in controlling innate immunity. Moreover, behavioral studies have advanced our understanding of how the nervous system may sense potential pathogens and consequently elicit pathogen avoidance, reducing the risk of infection. In this review, we discuss the neural circuits that regulate both behavioral immunity and molecular immunity in C. elegans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas