Link Discovered Between The Nervous And Immune Systems - Might Lead To New Treatments

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Tom Kindlon posted this to co-cure on Dec 1. I haven't been able to find it on the forum, but hope it's not a repost.

Link Discovered Between The Nervous And Immune Systems - Might Lead To New Treatments For Autoimmune Disorders

Main Category: Immune System / Vaccines
Article Date: 01 Dec 2009 - 13:00 PST

If you ever thought the stress of seeing your extended family over the
holidays was slowly killing you - bad news: a new research report in the
December 2009 print issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology shows that you
might be right. Here's the good news: results from the same study might lead
to entirely new treatments that help keep autoimmune diseases like lupus,
arthritis, and eczema under control. That's because researchers from the
University of Connecticut Health Center have found that the same part of our
nervous system that is responsible for the fight-or-flight response (called
the sympathetic nervous system) also controls regulatory T cells, which are
used by the body to end an immune response once a foreign invader has been
removed or destroyed.

"We show for the first time that the nervous system controls the central
immune police cells, called regulatory T cells," said Robert E. Cone, Ph.D.,
a senior researcher in whose laboratory the work was done at the University
of Connecticut Health Center. "This further shows that it is imperative to
concentrate on the neuro-immune interactions and to understand how these two different systems, the immune and nervous systems, interact."

To make this discovery, Cone, Sourojit Bhowmick and colleagues injected some mice with a drug called 6-hyroxydopamine (6-OHDA) that selectively removes sympathetic nerves located in different organs, or a saline solution. Mice injected with 6-OHDA, which effectively severed the link between the nervous system and the immune system had twice as many regulatory T cells as the control group in their spleens and lymph nodes. Further analysis showed that the increase in regulatory T cells resulted from an increase in a protein called "TGF-beta," which directs the development and survival of regulatory T cells. With this information in hand, Cone and colleagues then sought to see if 6-OHDA would prevent autoimmune disorders from developing. To do this, they injected 6-OHDA or a saline solution into mice before subjecting them and a control group to conditions known to cause an autoimmune disease similar to multiple sclerosis in humans. Unlike the control group, the mice treated with 6-OHDA did not develop the autoimmune disease, showing that not only can the sympathetic nervous system negatively affect the immune system, but it also shows how it might be possible to prevent or stop autoimmune disorders.

"Ever since Hans Seyle's groundbreaking work on stress, scientists have been
trying to understand why stressful situations often exacerbate autoimmune
diseases and cause re-emergence of latent infections," said John Wherry,
Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. "In true fight or
flight situations, stress can be a lifesaver, but understanding how the
neurological response to the stress of everyday events such as seeing your
family around the holidays impacts immune responses should provide
opportunities for new therapies."

Details: Sourojit Bhowmick, Anurag Singh, Richard A. Flavell, Robert B.
Clark, James O'Rourke, and Robert E. Cone. The sympathetic nervous system
modulates CD4+FoxP3+ regulatory T cells via a TGF-beta-dependent mechanism.
J Leukoc Biol 2009 86: 1275. doi: 10.1189/jlb.0209107 ;
http://www.jleukbio.org/cgi/content/abstract/86/6/1275

Source:
Cody Mooneyhan
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
[TK: I know that one study in the ME/CFS field found that the (relatively
gentle) exertion/activity of going from home to a hospital appointment was
found to increase TGF-beta (mentioned below) in CFS patients. Ref: White
PD, Nye KE, Pinching AJ, Yap TM, Power N, Vleck V, 10. et al. Immunological
changes after both exercise and activity in chronic fatigue syndrome: a
pilot study. J Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 2004; 12: 51-66. Tom]
 
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starcycle

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But is CFS/ME an autoimmune condition? I think that it's probably not, that it's probably at least partially an immune reaction to actual pathogens. I'm not sure I would want to turn off my response to that, but maybe it would help CFS without causing other problems. ?
 
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But is CFS/ME an autoimmune condition? I think that it's probably not, that it's probably at least partially an immune reaction to actual pathogens. I'm not sure I would want to turn off my response to that, but maybe it would help CFS without causing other problems. ?
?? me too starcycle. Can't wait til it's all unraveled.

BTW Have wanted to say I love your signature.
 

dannybex

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Mind-body...

Hi IslandFinn and StarCycle,

Thanks for posting the study IF! :)

But with the greatest of respect to the researchers, stepping back and looking at the big picture...is this really a 'discovery' or just another example of what some already know...that the mind and the body are actually connected to each other? :)

Alternative practioners, ayurvedic and traditional chinese medicine have been saying this for decades, if not centuries. I guess in a way, it is a 'discovery' in the respect that this does help to confirm the mind-body connection to the 'autoimmune' illnesses they describe.

Starcycle: Personally, I agree. I don't think CFS is an autoimmune disease. And don't quote me, but I've read in several places where some question the theory of autoimmunity. They believe that the body/immune system isn't actually attacking 'itself', but is trying to attack certain viruses/bacteria/other infections that hide deep inside our cells or organs (like the thyroid for example).

Just my two cents,

Dan
 
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starcycle

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Starcycle: Personally, I agree. I don't think CFS is an autoimmune disease. And don't quote me, but I've read in several places where some question the theory of autoimmunity. They believe that the body/immune system isn't actually attacking 'itself', but is trying to attack certain viruses/bacteria/other infections that hide deep inside our cells or organs (like the thyroid for example).
Or mercury and other toxic metals. ;-)
 

starryeyes

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What's stressful about seeing family for many of us any time is having a severe neuroendocrineimmune disease that many family member see as All In Your Head.

Interesting article IF and so is the study you mention at the bottom. Ever since I got chronic EBV I swear I've been feeling like this is happening in my body. I'm not surprised. :l

dannybex said: Is this really a 'discovery' or just another example of what some already know...that the mind and the body are actually connected to each other?
Right danny, looks like once again, you and I are thinking along the same lines and I agree with the theory that this response is happening from our immune systems trying to attack viruses and bacteria etc.... which I think can make it seem like an Autoimmune disease.

starcycle: I like your name-- do or did you cycle?
Also I like your Sig too but I was wondering if you like the idea of changing the word "virus" to "retrovirus"?
 

dannybex

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Yes...

Or mercury and other toxic metals. ;-)
Totally agree. The list is endless...so many possible issues, contaminants, plastics, solvents, etc., things that perhaps because of a methylation problem or other dysfunction...we can't process these out or detoxify them like most so-called 'healthy' folks.

I agree w/both of you, but just want to emphasize that it's not just about viruses or bacteria, or even retroviruses IMHO. The "terrain" needs to be addressed as well.
 
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starcycle

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Totally agree. The list is endless...so many possible issues, contaminants, plastics, solvents, etc., things that perhaps because of a methylation problem or other dysfunction...we can't process these out or detoxify them like most so-called 'healthy' folks.

I agree w/both of you, but just want to emphasize that it's not just about viruses or bacteria, or even retroviruses IMHO. The "terrain" needs to be addressed as well.
Fluoride is implicated in thyroid disease, too - and I would suspect it's involved in a lot of other chronic illnesses, lupus, etc.

starcycle: I like your name-- do or did you cycle?
I used to, probably about 12-15 or so miles a day. Feels like another lifetime. I ran before that, before pronation got the better of me and gave me shin splints. I would love to be able to ride again... maybe someday...
 

muffin

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Stress Affects ALL Diseases - No brainer

I thought this went without saying and was just known and understood for the last 50 or more years since Selye's study. Stress exacerbates illness, disease, etc. and probably helps to kick-start many diseases, etc.
And this is why I get so mad at the waste of money by CDC/CFS William Reeves Emory University MIND-BODY PROGRAM and their waste of money and time on stress and its affects on CFIDS. Stress on a body and its affects are so wide-spread and general that this Mind-Body "work' should be done elsewhere and not with CFIDS money. But Reeves wants to play shrink and blame the patient and our "inability" to deal with stress and childhood abuse. Were that the case, the majority of the world from the begining of time should have CFIDS from stress and childhood abuse - right?

GET RID OF WILLIAM REEVES!!!
 

alice1

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Thankyou for posting the article islandfinn.
My brother-in -law was on dopamine for Parkinsons and unfortunetly it didn't work for him.
I know when I'm stressed my adrenals become so overworked(they're already low)
my fatique gets a bigger invitaion.
 
C

Cloud

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I thought this went without saying and was just known and understood for the last 50 or more years since Selye's study. Stress exacerbates illness, disease, etc. and probably helps to kick-start many diseases, etc.
And this is why I get so mad at the waste of money by CDC/CFS William Reeves Emory University MIND-BODY PROGRAM and their waste of money and time on stress and its affects on CFIDS. Stress on a body and its affects are so wide-spread and general that this Mind-Body "work' should be done elsewhere and not with CFIDS money. But Reeves wants to play shrink and blame the patient and our "inability" to deal with stress and childhood abuse. Were that the case, the majority of the world from the begining of time should have CFIDS from stress and childhood abuse - right?

GET RID OF WILLIAM REEVES!!!

If stress "caused" ME/CFS, everyone who had ever been in combat would have it.....doesn't get more stressful than that. Of course I'm not talking about the more recent GWS that seems likely to be the same monster we deal with. Anyhow, the "blown fuse" theory just doesn't work. Stress as a trigger...Indeed! But not a sole cause.