In this study, a murine model of Listeria monocytogenes infection was used to investigate effects of restraint stress (RST) on host defense. We observed that the L. monocytogenes infection as well as RST induced an elevation of endogenous corticosterone (CORT) levels and RST synergistically enhanced endogenous CORT levels during the listerial infection. RST suppressed the migration of leukocytes including macrophages, neutrophils, NK cells and lymphocytes into the peritoneal cavities after the intraperitoneal inoculation of L. monocytogenes. RST also suppressed the increase of the surface MHC class II antigen expression in both peritoneal macrophages and B cells during the listerial infection. Interestingly, gene expression of iNOS, MCP-1 (JE) and Th1-type cytokines including IFN-γ and IL-12 was down- regulated but Th2-type cytokine (IL-4 and IL-6) gene expression in the PEC was rather up-regulated on day 7 after infection, indicating that Th2-type immune response is more resistant to the elevated endogenous CORT levels than Th1-type response. Treatment of mice with RU486, a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist, restored the immune responses suppressed by RST to their normal levels in the infected mice, suggesting that the RST-induced elevation of endogenous corticosterone levels is mainly responsible for the induction of the immunosuppressive events during L. monocytogenes infection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Clinical Neurology