Report

Pulmonary neuroendocrine cells function as airway sensors to control lung immune response

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  07 Jan 2016:
aad7969
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad7969

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Abstract

The lung is constantly exposed to environmental atmospheric cues. How it senses and responds to these cues is poorly defined. Here we show that Roundabout receptor (Robo) genes are expressed in pulmonary neuroendocrine cells (PNECs), a rare, innervated epithelial population. Robo inactivation in mouse lung results in an inability of PNECs to cluster into sensory organoids and triggers increased neuropeptide production upon exposure to air. Excess neuropeptides lead to an increase in immune infiltrates, that in turn remodel the matrix and irreversibly simplify the alveoli. We demonstrate in vivo that PNECs act as precise airway sensors that elicit immune responses via neuropeptides. These findings suggest that the PNEC and neuropeptide abnormalities documented in a wide array of pulmonary diseases may profoundly impact symptoms and progression.

View Full Text