The immune system protects against invasive pathogens through the production of pro-inflammatorycytokines, which initiates a cascade of events to promote tissue repair. However, excessive or unrestrained release of pro-inflammatory cytokines can result in a range of chronic inflammatory conditions and disease states.
The vagus nerve plays a key role in regulating the inflammatory response. The vagus nerve is
composed of approximately 90% afferent (i.e., fibres that carry information from the organs to the brain) and 10% efferent fibres (i.e., fibres that carry information from the brain to the organs). It has a key role in conveying sensory information about the state of the viscera to the central nervous system. The vagus nerve innervates numerous visceral regions including the heart, oesophagus, gastrointestinal tract, liver and pancreas.