Article

Stress-induced remodeling of lymphoid innervation

Norman Cousins Center for PNI, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA School of Medicine, USA.
Brain Behavior and Immunity (Impact Factor: 6.13). 02/2008; 22(1):15-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2007.06.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Lymphoid organs have long been known to harbor neural fibers from the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system, but recent studies suggest a surprising degree of plasticity in the density of innervation. This review summarizes data showing that behavioral stress can increase the density of catecholaminergic neural fibers within lymphoid organs of adult primates. Stress-induced neural densification is associated with increased expression of neurotrophic factors, and functional consequences include alterations in lymph node cytokine expression and increased replication of a lymphotropic virus. The finding that behavioral stress can tonically alter lymph node neural structure suggests that behavioral factors could exert long-term regulatory influences on the initiation, maintenance, and resolution of immune responses.

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