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Brain Behav Immun. 1992 Jun;6(2):170-8.

Stress-induced alterations in interferon production and class II histocompatibility antigen expression.

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Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261.
U Louisville, KY


Mild electric foot-shock has been shown to be a stressor that can alter immune responses. Male Lewis rats were exposed to one session of 16 5.0-s 1.6-mA foot-shocks. Production of interferon-gamma by splenocytes in response to concanavalin-A was decreased in spleens from the shocked rats compared to control spleens. Spleen cells from rats treated with nadolol, a peripherally acting beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist, and then shocked, showed dose-dependent attenuation of the suppression of interferon-gamma production. This suggests that catecholamines mediate shock-induced suppression of interferon-gamma production. The percentage of splenic mononuclear cells expressing class II histocompatibility (Ia) antigens on their surfaces from spleens of shocked rats was determined by flow cytometry. Significantly decreased class II positive mononuclear cells were present in the spleens of shocked rats in comparison to the spleens of control rats. This may reflect an alteration of cell trafficking or decreased production of class II antigens.

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