Endocrine and Immunological Responses to Acute Stress
Although the suggestion that the function of the immune system is regulated by the endocrine system, was postulated some time ago (see Selye, 1980; Besedovsky and Sorkin, 1977), the extent of this interaction is now becoming more obvious by many recent technological advances in the field of endocrinology and immunology. For instance, regulation of the immune response by the hypothalamo-pituitary gonadal axis has been proved to be of great importance (Grossman, 1984) and also growth hormone (Grossman and Roselle, 1983; Michael et al., 1980) prolactin (Bercze et al., 1981), glucocorticoids (Munck et al., 1984), as well as peripheral circulating catecholamines (Johnson et al., 1981; Del Rey et al., 1981) have been shown to have immunomodulatory capacities. Recent studies have presented evidence that lymphocytes possess binding sites for opiates such as morphine and its derivates (Wybran et al., 1979; Gungor et al., 1980; Lopker et al., 1980). The presence of these binding sites would indicate that opiates may be able to affect the immune system directly. In this light, the discovery of the existence of endogenous opiates such as the enkephalins and endorphins motivated many workers to study the role of these peptides on immune function. However, as in other areas of opioid peptide physiology, the effects of opioid peptides in immune regulation are complex and often paradoxical.
KeywordsAcute Stress Corticotropin Release Factor Restraint Stress Primary Immune Response Intermediate Lobe
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