Acute stress increases monocyte levels and modulates receptor expression in healthy females

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van de Wouw, Marcel
Sichetti, Marzia
Long-Smith, Caitriona M.
Ritz, Nathaniel L.
Moloney, Gerard M.
Cusack, Anne-Marie
Berding, Kirsten
Dinan, Timothy G.
Cryan, John F.
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There has been a growing recognition of the involvement of the immune system in stress-related disorders. Acute stress leads to the activation of neuroendocrine systems, which in turn orchestrate a large-scale redistribution of innate immune cells, such as monocytes. Even though acute stress/monocyte interactions have been wellcharacterized in mice, this is not the case for humans. As such, this study aimed to investigate whether acute stress modulates blood monocyte levels in a subtype-dependent manner and whether the receptor expression of stress-related receptors is affected in humans. Blood was collected from healthy female volunteers at baseline and 1 h after the socially evaluated cold pressor test, after which blood monocyte levels and receptor expression were assessed by flow cytometry. Our results reveal a stress-induced increase in blood monocyte levels, which was independent of monocyte subtypes. Furthermore, colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF-1R) and CD29 receptor expression was increased, while CD62L showed a trend towards increased expression. These results provide novel insights into how acute stress affects the innate immune system.
Psychological stress , Immune cells , Glucocorticoids , Brain , Inflammation , Recruitment , Activation , Depression , Responses , Cortisol
van de Wouw, M., Sichetti, M., Long-Smith, C. M., Ritz, N. L., Moloney, G. M., Cusack, A-M., Berding, K., Dinan, T. G. and Cryan, J. F. (2021) 'Acute stress increases monocyte levels and modulates receptor expression in healthy females', Brain Behavior and Immunity, 94, pp. 463-468. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2021.03.005