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J Neuroimmunol. 1985 Nov;10(1):5-30.

Involvement of peripheral and central catecholamine systems in neural-immune interactions.


In this review, we have attempted to delineate the current state of knowledge of the relationships between the immune system and one chemically specific component of the nervous system, the noradrenergic system, both in the brain and the periphery. We have discussed recent work describing the presence of noradrenergic innervation in lymphoid tissues in the major lymphatic organs. Our findings demonstrate clearly that the regions in which lymphocytes (mainly T cells) reside, and through which they recirculate, receive direct sympathetic neural input. The immune system can, therefore, be considered 'hard-wired' to the brain. The evidence for receptors on cells of the immune system capable of receiving signals from the brain is discussed. The significance of this 'hard-wiring' to the function of the immune system is considered, both with regard to the effect of its disruption on immune responses, and to the direct and indirect effects of sympathetic neurotransmitter substances on lymphocytes and their behavior in vitro and in vivo. Finally, our detailed analysis of changes occurring in central noradrenergic pathways as a result of stimulation of the immune system leads to an emerging picture of feedback loops from the immune system to the brain. Such circuits employ endocrine, and probably autonomic, outflow to modulate and regulate immune responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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