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 en_US
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 en_US
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. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.language English en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Brandeis University en_US
dc.rights Copyright by Brian Dahlben 2012 en_US
dc.subject stress en_US
dc.subject inflammation en_US
dc.subject acetylcholine en_US
dc.subject parasympathetic nervous system en_US
dc.title Stress as a Link between Inflammation and Disease: Cholinergic Regulation of Inflammatory Cytokine Production and Sensitivity to Acute Stress en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.department Department of Neuroscience en_US
dc.degree.name MS en_US
dc.degree.level Masters en_US
dc.degree.discipline Neuroscience en_US
dc.degree.grantor Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences en_US


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