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Science. 2016 Nov 25;354(6315):1041-1045.

Social status alters immune regulation and response to infection in macaques.

Author information

1
Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.
2
Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.
3
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec H3T1J4, Canada.
4
Department of Genetics, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine Research Center, Montréal, Quebec H3T1C5, Canada.
5
Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
6
Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
7
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.
8
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.
9
Department of Human Genetics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
10
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
11
Department of Genetics, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine Research Center, Montréal, Quebec H3T1C5, Canada. jt5@duke.edu luis.barreiro@umontreal.ca.
12
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec H3T1J4, Canada.
13
Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA. jt5@duke.edu luis.barreiro@umontreal.ca.
14
Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.
15
Institute of Primate Research, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi 00502, Kenya.
16
Duke Population Research Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.

Abstract

Social status is one of the strongest predictors of human disease risk and mortality, and it also influences Darwinian fitness in social mammals more generally. To understand the biological basis of these effects, we combined genomics with a social status manipulation in female rhesus macaques to investigate how status alters immune function. We demonstrate causal but largely plastic social status effects on immune cell proportions, cell type-specific gene expression levels, and the gene expression response to immune challenge. Further, we identify specific transcription factor signaling pathways that explain these differences, including low-status-associated polarization of the Toll-like receptor 4 signaling pathway toward a proinflammatory response. Our findings provide insight into the direct biological effects of social inequality on immune function, thus improving our understanding of social gradients in health.

Comment in

PMID:
27885030
PMCID:
PMC5498102
DOI:
10.1126/science.aah3580
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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