Prevention of immunosuppression in stressed mice by altering the activity of neurotransmitter systems

Research paper by G. V. Idova, M. A. Cheido

Indexed on: 01 Jul '96Published on: 01 Jul '96Published in: Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine


The spleens of CBA mice stressed by being immobilized for 3 h in the supine position and then immunized with sheep erythrocytes showed evidence of immunosuppression manifested in reduced numbers of plaque-forming cells on day 4 and of rosette-forming cells on day 5 after the stress and immunization. The depletion of serotonin stores in the brain caused by p-chlorophenylalanine administered 48 h before stressing the animals abolished immunosuppression under the action of immobilization stress, and a similar effect resulted from the activation of postsynaptic dopamine receptors D1 and D2 by apomorphine injected at 30 min before stress. The prevention of immunosuppression observed to occur when the balance between the serotoninergic and dopaminergic systems was shifted so that the latter system became predominant, suggests that the stress reduces immune reactivity by altering the brain's neurochemical pattern and interfering with the mechanisms of neuroimmunomodulation.