Stress and Disease Processes

By Neil Schneiderman; Philip McCabe et al. | Go to book overview
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these graded effects between matched HIV-1 seronegative and seropositive men. We also evaluate the dose-response relationship between these neuroendocrines and mitogen-induced IL-2 production between these groups of individuals. These studies should provide information on the shape of the functions (e.g., linear, quadratic) describing neuroendocrine effects on mitogen responsivity in populations (seropositive and seronegative) previously shown to display patterns suggestive of a divergence in such relationships ( Antoni et al., 1991).

As indicated in Table 8.1, the various paradigms employed in our lab are designed to systematically investigate the nature of the divergent PNI patterns that we have observed in our HIV-1 seronegative and seropositive gay men. A dysfunction at the psychoendocrine level of intersystem communication (e.g., over or underreactivity of neuroendocrine response to stressor) will be detectable with the reactivity paradigm, whereas a dysfunction at the neuroimmune level could be ascertained in the lymphocyte isolate and/or dose-response functional studies. Beyond the identification and localization of such dysfunction(s), these experiments may provide information with implications for other PNI work.


We have presented some contemporary assessment, population, and paradigmatic issues relevant to PNI research with an emphasis on their implications for human studies of stressor-associated phenomena. Previous work from our lab, focusing on the affective, neuroendocrine, and immunologic effects of a potent field stressor are discussed in light of these issues. Finally, our ongoing programmatic study of the mechanisms underlying differential PNI relationships in HIV-1 seropositive and seronegative men is outlined. We stress the importance of assessing multiple levels of stress responsivity during exposure to both chronic and acute field and laboratory stressors with in-vivo and in-vitro models using populations who are likely to differ in the degree to which immunomodulation affects clinical status. The findings emerging from these studies may provide important information concerning the generalizability of previously documented PNI relationships to the study of HIV-1 infected individuals and other immunocompromised populations.


Antoni M., H., August S., LaPerriere A., Baggett H. L., Klimas N., Ironson G., Schneiderman N., & Fletcher M. A. ( 1990). "Psychological and neuroendocrine measures related to functional immune changes in anticipation of HIV-1 serostatus notification". Psychosomatic Medicine, 52, 496-510.


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