Stress-Induced Immune Dysregulation: Implications for Wound Healing, Infectious Disease and Cancer

Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.
Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology (Impact Factor: 4.11). 01/2007; 1(4):421-7. DOI: 10.1007/s11481-006-9036-0
Source: PubMed


The communication between the central nervous system and the immune system occurs via a complex network of bidirectional signals linking the nervous, endocrine and immune systems. The field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) has provided new insights to help understand the pathophysiological processes that are linked to the immune system. Work in this field has established that psychological stress disrupts the functional interaction between the nervous and immune systems. Stress-induced immune dysregulation has been shown to be significant enough to result in health consequences, including reducing the immune response to vaccines, slowing wound healing, reactivating latent herpesviruses, such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and enhancing the risk for more severe infectious disease. Chronic stress/depression can increase the peripheral production of proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-6. High serum levels of IL-6 have been linked to risks for several conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, mental health complications, and some cancers. This overview will discuss the evidence that psychological stress promotes immune dysfunction that negatively impacts human health.

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Article: Stress-Induced Immune Dysregulation: Implications for Wound Healing, Infectious Disease and Cancer

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    • "Immune dysregulation is a key feature of cancer, which includes impaired cell-mediated immunity and Th2 bias[5]. Similar functional changes are manifested in chronic psychological stress[7]. Furthermore, there is growing evidence that the phenotypic behavior of a tumour is not only defined by the epithelial component but also by the tumour microenvironment. Galon, et al. have shown that the analysis of a specific type of intratumoural immune response was surpassing the TNM classification in multivariate analysis as a better predictor of prognosis and response to therapy and suggested that the precise analysis of the tumour microenvironment is essential to optimal patient management[8]. "

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    • "In spite of the fact that stress response is a physiological protective phenomenon, like inflammatory response, it can also have detrimental effects on the organism [6]. Stress response has been found to be able to generate a wide range of problems ranging from impairment of wound healing to even cancer [6] [7]. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that mental diseases, including stress-related disorders, will be the second leading cause of disabilities by the year 2020 [8]. "
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    • "The most important rendering of nano-CaP therapy observed in the present study was improvement of neurotransmitters content in thigh muscle because novel neurological aspects of tumors were more elucidated and many evidences have further shown that tumors growth process is also related to the nervous system. More important, numerous neurotransmitters influence tumor vascularization and cell migration [31]; in addition, they may also suppress the immune response in cancer [32]. These influences are increased by the ability of the cancer cells to secret neurogenic factors [33], which influences neurons development. "
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