Restraint stress-induced elevations in plasma corticosterone and β-endorphin are not accompanied by alterations in immune function

Christopher M. Flores, Monica C. Hernandez, Kenneth M. Hargreaves, Barbara M. Bayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

A variety of stressors active the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, thereby resulting in elevated levels of circulating ACTH, β-endorphin and corticosterone. Since these hormones have been shown previously to alter measures of immune function, we determined whether presentation of a stressor which activates the HPA axis produces alteration in immune function. Restraint stress resulted in significantly elevated levels of corticosterone and β-endorphin without affecting either proliferative or cytolytic activities of lymphocytes. At concentrations similar to those achieved during stress, in vivo, corticosterone exhibited a dose- and time-dependent reduction in both lymphocyte proliferation as well as natural killer cytotoxicity, in vitro. β-Endorphin, on the other hand, was without direct or modulatory effects. These results indicate that restraint stress-induced activation of the HPA axis occurs witho-ut accompanying in immune function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1990
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Glucocorticoid
  • Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis
  • Immunosuppression
  • Lymphocyte proliferation
  • Natural killer cell cytolytic activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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