Immunity can modulate behavior

The previous material has reviewed data indicating that behavioral triggers of the nervous system can regulate immunity. Several lines of evidence also indicate that components of an immune response can also signal the CNS. For example, many investigators have reported electrical changes in the hypothalamus following the administration of antigen. Others have reported that IL-1 stimulates release of corticotropin-releasing hormone from the hypothalamus into the hypophyseal portal circulation, where it can then activate the HPA axis. Moreover, the response to antigenic stimuli appears to be associated with the release of neurotransmitters and hormones produced by lymphocytes themselves. Finally, evidence suggests that these and/or other signals from an activated immune system may be directly or indirectly signaling the CNS to actually modify the behavior of the organism. The most intriguing observations are those suggesting that the immunologic abnormalities of the lupus-prone strains of congenic MRL mice modify (directly or indirectly) the animals' behavior, which in turn can act to 'correct' homeostatic imbalances within the immune system.

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