Author(s): Berczi I
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Abstract Sixty years ago Hans Selye discovered that the neuroendocrine and immune systems interact during stress. The pathophysiological significance of neuroendocrine-immune interaction during injury has only been recognized recently. Today it is rapidly emerging that, in addition to defense against exogenous pathogenic agents, the immune system plays a key role in host defense against injury. During acute-phase reactions to infection/injury, when there is no time to mount a specific immune response, the neuroimmunoregulatory network suppresses specific immunity while rapidly elevating the production of acute-phase proteins (APP) in the liver. APP recognize microbes and abnormal cells/tissues and activates the immune system nonspecifically to fight infection or injury. There is a remarkable similarity between the stress syndrome as outlined by Selye in 1946 and the acute-phase response as we know it today. Moreover, it is becoming clear that the immune system participates in the normal physiological regulation of the body, which was also recognized by Selye in his later years. Although with much delay, the scientific community is beginning to fully appreciate Selye's ingenious discoveries which were far ahead of his time.
This article was published in Ann N Y Acad Sci
and referenced in Journal of Blood & Lymph