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J Neuroimmunol. 2001 Mar 1;114(1-2):19-27.

Chemical sympathectomy increases the innate immune response and decreases the specific immune response in the spleen to infection with Listeria monocytogenes.

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Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine, 601 Elmwood Avenue Box EHSC, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Many investigators have shown that ablation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) can alter cell-mediated and humoral immune responses to antigenic challenge. Fewer studies have examined 6-OHDA-induced changes in natural immunity. In this study, we have examined the effect of chemical sympathectomy on the nonspecific and specific phases of the response to infection with Listeria monocytogenes. Sympathectomy decreased splenic bacterial loads 3 and 5 days post-infection and increased splenic neutrophils 3 days post-infection. Sympathectomy decreased splenocyte numbers and antigen-stimulated cytokine secretion from splenocytes. These results suggest that the SNS influences specific responses by modulating innate responses.

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