Neuroimmunomodulatory interactions of norepinephrine and serotonin

Journal of Neuroimmunology
R F Walker, E E Codd


Monoamine neuroleptics alter rodents responses to immunization, suggesting that norepinephrine (NE) and serotonin (5HT) are neuroimmunomodulatory in these animals. Although endocrine factors participate in their mechanism(s) of action, recent studies suggest that NE and 5HT also interact more directly with immunocompetent cells. This review provides an overview of evidence for a direct regulatory link between the nervous and immune systems and further speculates on the process by which NE and 5HT realize in part, their neuroimmunomodulatory potential. Anatomical data show that noradrenergic fibers of the sympathetic nervous system innervate lymphoid organs providing a channel of communication between neurons and lymphocytes. Presumably neural signals transmitted by NE are received by platelets that in turn, transduce them via 5HT into immunomodulatory messages. It is proposed that NE alters the capacity of platelets to sequester and/or catabolize 5HT, thus regulating its physiologically active pool in the plasma. Macrophages possess a 5HT uptake system, the kinetic properties of which make them sensitive to changes in plasma levels of the amine. Thus, through its ability to regulate plasma levels of 5HT, an immunosuppressive am...Continue Reading


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