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Stress-induced in vivo recruitment of human cytotoxic natural killer cells favors subsets with distinct receptor profiles and associates with increased epinephrine levels

Bigler, Marc B. and Egli, Simon B. and Hysek, Cédric M. and Hoenger, Gideon and Schmied, Laurent and Baldin, Fabian S. and Marquardsen, Florian A. and Recher, Mike and Liechti, Matthias E. and Hess, Christoph and Berger, Christoph T.. (2015) Stress-induced in vivo recruitment of human cytotoxic natural killer cells favors subsets with distinct receptor profiles and associates with increased epinephrine levels. PLoS ONE, 10 (12). e0145635.

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Abstract

Acute stress drives a 'high-alert' response in the immune system. Psychoactive drugs induce distinct stress hormone profiles, offering a sought-after opportunity to dissect the in vivo immunological effects of acute stress in humans. 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), methylphenidate (MPH), or both, were administered to healthy volunteers in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover-study. Lymphocyte subset frequencies, natural killer (NK) cell immune-phenotypes, and changes in effector function were assessed, and linked to stress hormone levels and expression of CD62L, CX3CR1, CD18, and stress hormone receptors on NK cells. MDMA/MPH > MDMA > MPH robustly induced an epinephrine-dominant stress response. Immunologically, rapid redistribution of peripheral blood lymphocyte-subsets towards phenotypically mature NK cells occurred. NK cytotoxicity was unaltered, but they expressed slightly reduced levels of the activating receptor NKG2D. Preferential circulation of mature NK cells was associated with high epinephrine receptor expression among this subset, as well as expression of integrin ligands previously linked to epinephrine-induced endothelial detachment. The acute epinephrine-induced stress response was characterized by rapid accumulation of mature and functional NK cells in the peripheral circulation. This is in line with studies using other acute stressors and supports the role of the acute stress response in rapidly mobilizing the innate immune system to counteract incoming threats.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Bereich Medizinische Fächer (Klinik) > Klinische Pharmakologie
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Klinische Forschung > Bereich Medizinische Fächer (Klinik) > Klinische Pharmakologie
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Biomedizin > Department of Biomedicine, University Hospital Basel > Psychopharmacology Research (Liechti)
UniBasel Contributors:Liechti, Matthias Emanuel
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Public Library of Science
e-ISSN:1932-6203
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:20 Oct 2018 06:59
Deposited On:21 Mar 2016 10:49

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