alexa Acute psychological stress induces short-term variable immune response

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Acute psychological stress induces short-term variable immune response

In spite of advances in understanding the cross-talks between the peripheral immune system and the brain, the molecular mechanisms underlying the rapid adaptation of the immune system to an acute psychological stress or remain largely unknown. Conventional approaches to classify molecular factors mediating these responses have targeted relatively few biological measurements or explored cross-sectional study designs, and therefore have restricted characterization of stress-immune interactions. This study analyzes transcriptional profiles and flow cytometric data of peripheral blood leukocytes with physiological (endocrine, autonomic) measurements collected throughout the sequence of events leading upto, during, and after short-term exposure to physical danger in humans. Immediate immunomodulation to acute psychological stress was defined as a short-term selective up-regulation of Natural Killer (NK) cell-associated cytotoxic and IL-12 mediated signaling genes that correlated with increased cortisol, catecholamines and NK cells into the periphery. Focusing analyses on discrete groups of coordinately expressed genes (modules) throughout the time-series revealed immune stress responses in modules associated to immune/defense response, response to wounding, cytokine production, TCR signaling and NK cell cytotoxicity which differed between males and females.

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