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If you are passionately interested and hooked to interdisciplinary and integrative medical research, take a look below at the Top 10 Most Popular BrainImmune stories on LinkedIn.
According to this report, addressing a survey published in Psychooncology, women who had survived breast cancer believe that there is a link between breast cancer and psychological stress. Or, as BBC put it, they believe stress caused their condition “than blame genetics or any other factor”. In fact, women who responded to the question about the cause of breast cancer attributed it mostly to stress (42.2%), genetics (26.7%), environment (25.5%) and hormones (23.9%).
Dr. Donna Stewart (as per the BBC report), who led the study, said the belief that stress had caused their disease, and lifestyle changes following it could help women feel they had control over the condition.
Interestingly, a search (April 12, 2023) using the following keywords: (psychological stress) AND (breast cancer) at PubMed (search engine at the United States National Library of Medicine, the NIH, Bethesda, MD) provides 2,847 results (see figure at right). Thus, many scientists have also linked stress to the development and progression of breast cancer.
This news report discusses a study published in Nature magazine. This article reveals that an impaired neuro-endocrine microenvironment of the bone marrow, and particularly the sympathetic neuropathy plays a crucial role in the development and clinical outcome of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).
The authors of this study report that the sympathetic nerve fibers, the supporting Schwann cells and MSCs are reduced in the bone marrow of MPN patients. Currently, the only real cure available for MPN is a bone marrow transplant.
Here, we addressed a study published in the online journal PLoS ONE, by a research group from the Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Japan reporting the presence of high levels of several pro-inflammatory cytokines in male (≥6 years old) subjects with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
The investigators used a multiplex assay, and demonstrate that plasma levels of IL-1beta, IL-1RA, IL-5, IL-8, IL-12(p70), IL-13, IL-17 and GRO-α in the high-functioning male subjects with ASD. They suggested that such a multiplex analysis of cytokines may serve as one of the biological trait markers for the disorder.
This is about a study that provides further insights into the link between oxytocin and depression, and the role of dysregulated oxytocin pathways in this condition.
The study is published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research extends the results of two previous studies and provides evidence for a deficit of oxytocin in women with depression, including patients with psychotic major depression (PMD), who typically exhibit greater depressive severity.
As depression is much more common in women than men (and 1 in 4 women will require treatment for depression at some time), the study may also help explain, at least in part, the female preponderance of depression.
This news report discusses a study published in the journal Cytokine. Here, Hidenori Nishida and colleagues from the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, Suita, Japan, demonstrate that an increased level of serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a signiﬁcant predictor of future cardiovascular (CV) events in high-risk Japanese patients.
One of the paradigm shifts in our understanding about atherosclerosis in the last 10-15 years is the development of the concept that it is potentially caused by a chronic inﬂammation. Serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) – as a signiﬁcant predictor of future cardiovascular (CV) events, is discussed in several studies; and here, importantly – whyserum IL-6, but not CRP may be a signiﬁcant predictor of CV events.
IL-6 should be preferred over CRP to evaluate critically ill patients’ prognoses and possibly to guide potential therapeutic interventions aimed at taming inflammation.
This evolving concept article is written by Professor Emeritus Agathocles Tsatsoulis and Christina Limniati, MD, from the Department of Endocrinology, University of Ioannina, Ioannina Greece.
They suggest that Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) and Graves’ disease (GD), the two opposite clinical entities of autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD), manifest with different immune phenotypes. HT is predominately a T helper 1 (Th1) cells-mediated autoimmune disease, whereas GD has a predominant Th2 phenotype. There is convincing evidence from epidemiological and clinical studies supporting the hypothesis that stress may favor the development of GD, but there is limited information on the role of stress in HT.
It is likely, that in susceptible individuals, stress hormones may influence the clinical expression of thyroid autoimmunity towards the development of GD by suppressing cellular immunity and potentiating humoral immunity. Epigenetic mechanisms may be involved in this process. On the other hand, recovery from stress, though a rebound effect of cellular immunity, may favor the development of autoimmune thyroiditis.
The major story is about a Science magazine article providing evidence that autonomic nerves contribute to prostate cancer development, where the sympathetic nervous system via the activation of β2 and β3-adrenergic receptor pathways participate in the early phase of tumor development.
The authors conclude that autonomic nerves infiltrate the prostatic tumor, and sympathetic/noradrenergic fibers are implicated in the initial stages of tumor development. The study sheds light on the exciting potential of using already available and widely used therapeutics such as beta-blockers to impact cancer prognosis.
A short story about a study, published in Clinical & Experimental Allergy by Heidi Kääriö et al., using samples from the Protection Against Allergy-Study in Rural Environments (PASTURE) birth cohort. The study demonstrates that farm exposures (stables, hay barn, farm milk) at age 4.5 years is linked to amplified Th1-type cytokine production.
The evidence supporting the theory of farming exposures as variably protective against the development of asthma and in support of the “hygiene hypothesis” is strongest in several European pediatric cohorts.
The major story is about a study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity suggesting that chronic stress exposure can prevent the effects of immunostimulatory treatments such as the administration of interleukin (IL)-12 This is independent from the stress effects on baseline immune measures.
The authors propose that continuous stress affects the ability of IL-12 to cause immunostimulation. According to the authors the neuroendocrine-immune mechanisms behind this phenomenon are yet unknown. It is likely however, that stress may disrupt the efficacy of IL-12 by mounting a T-helper (Th)2 response before the beginning of IL-12 treatment and thus, consequently hindering the ability of IL-12 to induce an effective Th1 response, which is critical for proper activation of cellular immunity.
Here, we addressed a study published in the journal Cancer Research that identifies sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation as a novel physiologic regulator of breast cancer metastasis to distant tissue sites.
Erica K. Sloan and colleagues used in vivo bioluminescence imaging to track the development of metastasis in an orthotopic mouse model of breast cancer.
The authors demonstrate that physical restraint, applied as a standardized stressor increased the metastasis of primary breast tumor cells to distant tissues by 38-fold, and stress increased metastasis in clinically relevant tissues, with a 37-fold increase in the lung and a 67% increase in the lymph nodes.
Sloan et al. argue that a direct regulation of macrophage biology by the SNS seems to constitute a previously unrecognized pathway by which external conditions affecting the autonomic nervous system can activate a metastatic switch within a growing primary tumor.