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Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2016 Aug;29:34-41. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2016.05.003. Epub 2016 Jun 16.

Well-being and immune response: a multi-system perspective.

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  • 1Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Immunobiology, University Hospital Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45122 Essen, Germany; Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division for Psychology, Karolinska Institutet, Nobels väg 9, 171 65 Solna, Stockholm, Sweden; Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, Frescati Hagväg 16A, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.
  • 2Molecular Neurophysiology, Department of Neuroscience Research, National Institute of Psychiatry, Calzada México-Xochimilco 101, Tlalpan, 14370 México, D.F., Mexico.
  • 3Laboratory of Neuronal Structure and Function, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. Electronic address:


Whereas it is well-established that inflammation and other immune responses can change how we feel, most people are still surprised to hear that, conversely, well-being and its violations also affect our immune system. Here we show that those effects are highly adaptive and bear potential for both research and therapeutic applications. The studies discussed in this review demonstrate that immunity is tuned by ones emotions, personality, and social status as well as by other life style variables like sleep, nutrition, obesity, or exercise. We further provide a short excursion on the effects of stress and depression on immunity and discuss acute experimental endotoxemia as a model to study the effects of well-being on the innate immune response in humans.

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