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Brain Behav Immun. 2002 Feb;16(1):33-45.

The effects of chemical sympathectomy on T-cell cytokine responses are not mediated by altered peritoneal exudate cell function or an inflammatory response.

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Graduate Program in Neuroscience, The Center for Psychoneuroimmunology Research, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.


Ablation of the sympathetic nervous system by chemical sympathectomy is a standard model for the study of sympathetic nervous system regulation of immune function. We have previously documented that chemical denervation results in enhanced antigen-specific, but suppressed mitogen-induced, cytokine production by spleen cells. In our investigation into the mechanisms of sympathectomy-induced immune alterations, we first evaluated the peritoneal environment into which the protein antigen keyhole limpet hemocyanin is administered. Denervation resulted in increased production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha by peritoneal exudate cells and these cells appeared to have enhanced antigen presenting capability. We hypothesized that nerve terminal destruction may be inducing an inflammatory response by monocyte/macrophages and other cell types throughout the periphery that could differentially alter subsequent mitogen versus antigen-specific responses. However, no evidence of sympathectomy-induced systemic or local splenic inflammatory responses was observed, as indicated by measuring the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1beta. These experiments indicate that an inflammatory response is not likely to be responsible for sympathectomy-induced immune alterations, eliminating a potential confounding factor in interpreting sympathectomy studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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