Social stress enhances sympathetic innervation of primate lymph nodes: Mechanisms and implications for viral pathogenesis
ABSTRACT Behavioral processes regulate immune system function in part via direct sympathetic innervation of lymphoid organs, but little is known about the factors that regulate the architecture of neural fibers in lymphoid tissues. In the present study, we find that experimentally imposed social stress can enhance the density of catecholaminergic neural fibers within axillary lymph nodes from adult rhesus macaques. This effect is linked to increased transcription of the key sympathetic neurotrophin nerve growth factor and occurs predominately in extrafollicular regions of the paracortex that contain T-lymphocytes and macrophages. Functional consequences of stress-induced increases in innervation density include reduced type I interferon response to viral infection and increased replication of the simian immunodeficiency virus. These data reveal a surprising degree of behaviorally induced plasticity in the structure of lymphoid innervation and define a novel pathway by which social factors can modulate immune response and viral pathogenesis.
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Chapter: Autonomic nervous system dysfunctionFunctional Pain Syndromes, Edited by Mayer, E.A., Bushnell, M.C., 01/2009: pages 265-300; IASP Press, Seattle.
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ABSTRACT: Longitudinal epidemiological studies with birth cohorts have shown that physical aggression in humans does not appear suddenly in adolescence as commonly thought. In fact, physically aggressive behaviour is observed as early as 12 months after birth, its frequency peaks around 2-4 years of age and decreases in frequency until early adulthood. However, a minority of children (3-7%) maintain a high frequency of physical aggression from childhood to adolescence and develop serious social adjustment problems during adulthood. Genetic factors and early social experiences, as well as their interaction, have been shown to play an important role in the development of chronic aggressive behaviour. However, the biological mechanisms underlying these associations are just beginning to be uncovered. Recent evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms are responsive to adverse environments and could be involved in the development of chronic aggression. Using both gene candidate and genomic approaches, recent studies have identified epigenetic marks, such as DNA methylation alterations in genes involved in the stress response and the serotonin and immune systems to be partly responsible for the long-lasting effects of early adversity. Further longitudinal studies with biological, environmental and behavioural assessments from birth onwards are needed to elucidate the sequence of events that leads to these long-lasting epigenetic marks associated with early adversity and aggression. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.Journal of Experimental Biology 01/2015; 218(Pt 1):123-133. DOI:10.1242/jeb.111401 · 3.00 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BackgroundTo identify levels of physical inactivity and smoking and examine their relationships to health among older people in India.MethodsIn 2010, Longitudinal Aging Study in India researchers interviewed 1,683 older adults in randomly sampled households with members aged ≥ 45 years in eight stratified districts in four states (90.9% response rate). We first used descriptive analyses to characterize older people in poor and good health. Differences between groups were established using chi-squared and t-tests. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were then performed to determine whether physical inactivity and smoking led to poor health while controlling for district of residence, caste, age, gender, marital status, and educational level. Regression analyses were also used to identify significant relationships between socio-demographic characteristics and health behaviors.ResultsLarger proportions of older people in poor health were smokers (26.1% vs. 16.9%; p ≤ 0.001) and physically inactive (vigorous activities: 88.7% vs. 70.7%, p ≤ 0.001; moderate activities: 67.1% vs. 57.1%, p ≤ 0.01). Smoking (p ≤ 0.05) and lack of vigorous physical activity (p ≤ 0.001) increased the likelihood of poor health. Low educational level was significantly related to smoking and the lack of moderate physical activity (both p ≤ 0.001). Female gender decreased the likelihood of smoking. Male gender increased the likelihood of vigorous physical activity but decreased the likelihood of moderate physical activity.ConclusionsSmoking and physical inactivity have important impacts on the health of older people in India. Policy attention is needed to improve these modifiable health behaviors.BMC Public Health 05/2014; 14(1):526. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-526 · 2.32 Impact Factor