Clinical Overviews

Clinical aspects of brain-immune interactions

Sex Steroids Hormones and Autoimmune Disease Activity

Sex Steroids Hormones and Autoimmune Disease Activity

Overview article Females display an increased incidence of autoimmune diseases, with a sexual dimorphism in the immune response. The autoimmune diseases involve both genetic and environmental factors and the autoimmune process is characterized by the breakdown of tolerance in subjects with genetic susceptibility, with subsequent target (organ-specific and not) injury, that, in turn, elicits repairing […]

Neuroendocrine-Immune Interactions in Lung Inflammatory Diseases

Neuroendocrine-Immune Interactions in Lung Inflammatory Diseases

Overview article Inflammation is the body’s response to insults. During inflammation, various inflammatory cells are activated to release cytokines and mediators and orchestrate progressing inflammation. Clinically, pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome involve acute inflammation, whereas asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases represent chronic inflammation. Inflammation is regulated by both the immune and neuroendocrine systems. […]

Aging Alters Sympathetic Noradrenergic Innervation and Immune Reactivity in the Lymphoid Organs: Strategies to Reverse Neuro-Immune Senescence

Aging Alters Sympathetic Noradrenergic Innervation and Immune Reactivity in the Lymphoid Organs: Strategies to Reverse Neuro-Immune Senescence

Overview article Current therapeutic strategies in medicine emphasize the influence of “mind” over “body” in the maintenance of health and development, progression, and recovery from diseases. This is achieved by interactions between the nervous system, endocrine system, and immune system in controlling health and disease mediated through various psychological, emotional, and spiritual factors. Several studies […]

Dysfunctional Sympathetic-Immune Interface in Disease States of the Gastrointestinal Tract

Dysfunctional Sympathetic-Immune Interface in Disease States of the Gastrointestinal Tract

Overview article The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is an integrative interface between the central nervous system and viscera that contributes to the maintenance of homeostasis. It is comprised of cholinergic preganglionic sympathetic neurons which innervate postganglionic sympathetic neurons (PGSNs) and adrenal chromaffin cells (ACCs). Catecholamines and sympathetic co-transmitters, including adenosine triphosphate (ATP), or a related […]

Pregnancy and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Pregnancy and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Overview article Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic, chronic inflammatory disorder, characterized by symmetrical polyarthritis and presence of extra-articular manifestations including subcutaneous nodules, lung disease, pericarditis, hematopoietic disturbances, neuropathy, and vasculitis. RA occurs in 0.5 to 1% of the population with a female to male ratio of 3:1 and with an increasing incidence with advancing […]

Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Function in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Function in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Overview article The neuroendocrine and the immune system are important homeostatic mechanisms maintaining the integrity of the organism. The efficacy of these homeostats in dynamic internal and external environments is a basis for successful adaptation to endogenous and exogenous stimuli that the organism constantly encounters. The adaptive reactions are complex and their ‘self-protecting’ nature serves […]

Thyroid Hormone Modulation of Immune Responses in Physiologic and Stressful Conditions: Implications for Thyroid Diseases

Thyroid Hormone Modulation of Immune Responses in Physiologic and Stressful Conditions: Implications for Thyroid Diseases

Overview article Recent evidence indicates the presence of bidirectional interactions between the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis and the immune system. Hypothyroidism leads to a suppression of humoral and cell-mediated immune responses, effects that are often reversed by restoration of the euthyroid state. In accordance, chronic stress induces a decrease in thyroid hormone levels that in turn, […]