Links for Keyword: Neuroimmunology
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A new study found that Siberian hamsters boost their immune function during the winter in order to help them cope with the seasonal stresses of cold weather and limited food. Researchers at Ohio State University and their colleagues found that the hamsters had higher levels of certain immune cells in their bloodstream during the short days of winter. In addition, during acute stress, hamsters kept in winter-like conditions launched a more vigorous immune response in preparation for potential injury or infection. Hamsters take a cue from the decreasing length of days as winter approaches as a signal to boost their immune function, according to the study, which will be published in the March 19 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress; Chapter 14: Biological Rhythms, Sleep, and Dreaming
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress; Chapter 10: Biological Rhythms and Sleep
Link ID: 1717 - Posted: 03.19.2002
In a discovery that demonstrates a clear link between the mind and body at a molecular level, scientists have shown that a chemical signal which normally allows nerve cells to communicate with each other - to alter sleep cycles, for example -- can also re-direct actions of the immune system. The research in mice confirms mounting evidence from studies of cultured cells that the nervous system directly influences the immune system. It has prompted new experiments to determine if the nerve-generated signal or its receptors in the immune system might make good drug targets to control asthma or allergies. "This is the first clue of a practical pharmacological approach to using the nervous system for both improving immune defenses and damping harmful immune responses at their roots in diseases as diverse as arthritis and asthma," said Edward Goetzl, MD. Copyright 2001 Regents of the University of California. All Rights Reserved.