A reciprocal regulation exists between the central nervous and immune systems through which the CNS signals the immune system via hormonal and neuronal pathways and the immune system signals the CNS through cytokines. The primary hormonal pathway by which the CNS regulates the immune system is the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, through the hormones of the neuroendocrine stress response. The sympathetic nervous system regulates the function of the immune system primarily via adrenergic neurotransmitters released through neuronal routes. Neuroendocrine regulation of immune function is essential for survival during stress or infection and to modulate immune responses in inflammatory disease. Glucocorticoids are the main effector end point of this neuroendocrine system and, through the glucocorticoid receptor, have multiple effects on immune cells and molecules. This review focuses on the regulation of the immune response via the neuroendocrine system. Particular details are presented on the effects of interruptions of this regulatory loop at multiple levels in predisposition and expression of immune diseases and on mechanisms of glucocorticoid effects on immune cells and molecules.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error