A 2014 study showed that inflammation-causing proteins known as cytokines were present in the plasma of lupus patients up to several weeks before their disease flared up. Conversely, these Oklahoma researchers found that inflammation regulators are present during periods when the disease is stable.
Now, researchers at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research (Manhasset, N.Y.) are working to decipher the neural signals of inflammation that other parts of the body send to the brain. In a recent study, they exposed mice to two inflammation-causing cytokines — tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and Interleukine 1β (IL-1β) — to determine whether cytokine-specific information is present in signals within the vagus nerve. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.