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Sympathectomy-Induced Immune Changes Are Not Abrogated by the Glucocorticoid Receptor Blocker RU-486

Barbara Kruszewska, David L. Felten, Suzanne Y. Stevens, Jan A. Moynihan
1998 Brain, behavior, and immunity  
Removal of sympathetic noradrenergic input to the immune system by injection of 6hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) triggers increases in antigen-specific in vitro splenocyte proliferation and cytokine production in BALB/cJ and C57B1/6J mice. This examines the possible role of glucocorticoids in these previously reported changes. In both strains, chemical sympathectomy triggers an elevation of glucocorticoid levels immediately following injection of 6-OHDA, returning to normal within one to two days. In
more » ... ne to two days. In the BALB/cJ strain, glucocorticoid elevation is seen only after the initial 6-OHDA injection; levels in chronically denervated animals are not different from controls. In the C57B1/6J strain, the increase is seen even with chronically denervated animals. Prior implantation of mice with pellets containing the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU-486 does not abrogate denervation-induced increases in cytokine production or proliferation in either strain. In addition to the previously reported increased interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-4 production, there is an increase in IFN-γ production in the C57B1/6J strain following either acute or chronic denervation. The persistence of denervation-induced changes even when the effect of corticosterone is blocked with RU-486 or diminished with chronic denervation indicates that the changes are driven mainly by a glucocorticoid-independent mechanism.
doi:10.1006/brbi.1998.0527 pmid:9769155 fatcat:dkce6owhubbgle5rprbu7qfp3a