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Journal Articles Nature Year : 2021

Sensory neuron-derived TAFA4 promotes macrophage tissue repair functions


Inflammation is a defence response to tissue damage that requires tight regulation in order to prevent impaired healing. Tissue-resident macrophages have a key role in tissue repair1, but the precise molecular mechanisms that regulate the balance between inflammatory and pro-repair macrophage responses during healing remain poorly understood. Here we demonstrate a major role for sensory neurons in promoting the tissue-repair function of macrophages. In a sunburn-like model of skin damage in mice, the conditional ablation of sensory neurons expressing the Gαi-interacting protein (GINIP) results in defective tissue regeneration and in dermal fibrosis. Elucidation of the underlying molecular mechanisms revealed a crucial role for the neuropeptide TAFA4, which is produced in the skin by C-low threshold mechanoreceptors—a subset of GINIP+ neurons. TAFA4 modulates the inflammatory profile of macrophages directly in vitro. In vivo studies in Tafa4-deficient mice revealed that TAFA4 promotes the production of IL-10 by dermal macrophages after UV-induced skin damage. This TAFA4–IL-10 axis also ensures the survival and maintenance of IL-10+TIM4+ dermal macrophages, reducing skin inflammation and promoting tissue regeneration. These results reveal a neuroimmune regulatory pathway driven by the neuropeptide TAFA4 that promotes the anti-inflammatory functions of macrophages and prevents fibrosis after tissue damage, and could lead to new therapeutic perspectives for inflammatory diseases.
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Dates and versions

hal-03419356 , version 1 (08-11-2021)



Guillaume Hoeffel, Guilhaume Debroas, Anais Roger, Rafaëlle Rossignol, Jordi Gouilly, et al.. Sensory neuron-derived TAFA4 promotes macrophage tissue repair functions. Nature, 2021, 594 (7861), pp.94-99. ⟨10.1038/s41586-021-03563-7⟩. ⟨hal-03419356⟩
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