Stress as a Link between Inflammation and Disease: Cholinergic Regulation of Inflammatory Cytokine Production and Sensitivity to Acute Stress

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dc.contributor.advisor Rohleder, Nicolas
dc.contributor.author Dahlben, Brian
dc.date.accessioned 2012-06-13T14:02:29Z
dc.date.available 2012-06-13T14:02:29Z
dc.date.issued 2012
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10192/79
dc.description Joint BS/MS Program
dc.description.abstract The stress response and relevant stress systems serve as a potential mechanism for linking inflammation with disease outcomes. Regulation of inflammation by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) has been studied, but little is known about how the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) mediates immunity. This research aimed to confirm the PNS as anti-inflammatory by measuring cytokine (TNF, IL-6, IL-1β, and IL-10) levels in LPS-stimulated blood incubated with increasing concentrations of acetylcholine (ACh), the primary PNS neurotransmitter. It also sought to determine whether acute stress affected ACh sensitivity of cytokine production. In both stressed (n = 4) and unstressed (n = 5) young adults, ACh was found to dose-dependently inhibit production of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF and IL-6, but not IL-1β nor the anti-inflammatory IL-10. Acute stress, v evoked by the established Trier Social Stress Test, did not significantly modulate ACh sensitivity of cytokine production. However, data suggested an effect of stress to increase ACh inhibition of TNF and IL-6, and the reverse effect for IL-10 and IL-1β. Lack of significance was attributed to small sample size and inter-individual variability in stress response patterns. The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway identified here will prove a crucial target for therapy in the future. Tests of acute stress effects on ACh sensitivity should be replicated in a larger population and compared to stress effects on glucocorticoid (GC) and catecholamine (CAT) sensitivity.
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Brian Dahlben 2012
dc.subject stress
dc.subject inflammation
dc.subject acetylcholine
dc.subject parasympathetic nervous system
dc.title Stress as a Link between Inflammation and Disease: Cholinergic Regulation of Inflammatory Cytokine Production and Sensitivity to Acute Stress
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Department of Neuroscience
dc.degree.name MS
dc.degree.level Masters
dc.degree.discipline Neuroscience
dc.degree.grantor Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


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