Navigation Links
Seeing family for the holidays? Scientists discover how the stress might kill you
Date:11/30/2009

If you ever thought the stress of seeing your extended family over the holidays was slowly killing youbad news: a new research report in the December 2009 print issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology (http://www.jleukbio.org) shows that you might be right. Here's the good news: results from the same study might lead to entirely new treatments that help keep autoimmune diseases like lupus, arthritis, and eczema under control. That's because researchers from the University of Connecticut Health Center have found that the same part of our nervous system that is responsible for the fight-or-flight response (called the sympathetic nervous system) also controls regulatory T cells, which are used by the body to end an immune response once a foreign invader has been removed or destroyed.

"We show for the first time that the nervous system controls the central immune police cells, called regulatory T cells," said Robert E. Cone, Ph.D., a senior researcher in whose laboratory the work was done at the University of Connecticut Health Center. "This further shows that it is imperative to concentrate on the neuro-immune interactions and to understand how these two different systems, the immune and nervous systems, interact."

To make this discovery, Cone, Sourojit Bhowmick and colleagues injected some mice with a drug called 6-hyroxydopamine (6-OHDA) that selectively removes sympathetic nerves located in different organs, or a saline solution. Mice injected with 6-OHDA, which effectively severed the link between the nervous system and the immune system had twice as many regulatory T cells as the control group in their spleens and lymph nodes. Further analysis showed that the increase in regulatory T cells resulted from an increase in a protein called "TGF-beta," which directs the development and survival of regulatory T cells. With this information in hand, Cone and colleagues then sought to see if 6-OHDA would prevent autoimmune disorders from developing. To do this, they injected 6-OHDA or a saline solution into mice before subjecting them and a control group to conditions known to cause an autoimmune disease similar to multiple sclerosis in humans. Unlike the control group, the mice treated with 6-OHDA did not develop the autoimmune disease, showing that not only can the sympathetic nervous system negatively affect the immune system, but it also shows how it might be possible to prevent or stop autoimmune disorders.

"Ever since Hans Seyle's groundbreaking work on stress, scientists have been trying to understand why stressful situations often exacerbate autoimmune diseases and cause re-emergence of latent infections," said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. "In true fight or flight situations, stress can be a lifesaver, but understanding how the neurological response to the stress of everyday events such as seeing your family around the holidays impacts immune responses should provide opportunities for new therapies."


'/>"/>

Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
cmooneyhan@faseb.org
301-634-7104
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Seeing is relieving
2. Seeing previously invisible molecules for the first time
3. Seeing the tree from the forest: Predicting the future of plant communities
4. Seeing stem cells helps in fight against peripheral arterial disease
5. Seeing through the skin
6. Crystal (eye) ball: Study says visual system equipped with future seeing powers
7. Seeing Alzheimers amyloids
8. LSU ichthyologist lands major grant to study fish family history
9. MU research team establishes family tree for cattle, other ruminants
10. Keeping DNA all in the family
11. U of I scientist: Public policy should promote family mealtimes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... YORK , April 5, 2017 Today ... is announcing that the server component of the HYPR ... known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million ... makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites and ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... April 3, 2017  Data captured by ... platform, detected a statistically significant association between ... to treatment and objective response of cancer ... to predict whether cancer patients will respond ... as well as to improve both pre-infusion potency ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities and ... and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial ... and others), by end use industry (government and law ... financial and banking, and others), and by region ( ... , Asia Pacific , and the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... July 17, 2017 , ... Whitehouse ... testing capabilities to encompass the full series of ISO 80369 standard test procedures. ... for medical device and drug delivery systems. With this recent expansion, Whitehouse Labs ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... July 17, 2017 , ... Neurodevelopmental disorders ... range of overlapping clinical features. The advancement of targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) has ... research and testing. , However, designing a custom panel for disease research ...
(Date:7/16/2017)... ... July 16, 2017 , ... ... analytical instruments announced the launch of its new line of Rocking and Waving ... and waving shaker models (both analog and digital) for laboratory applications in a ...
(Date:7/14/2017)... ... ... Dr. Joshua Mondlick has introduced the LANAP® protocol to treat gum disease ... the Phoenix area. Dr. Mondlick is at the forefront of the future of ... re-grow bone and with significantly less pain than traditional surgery options. , “With traditional ...
Breaking Biology Technology: