We do have chemical messengers in our system that the brain and the nervous and immune systems use to relay signals to each other.(1) These chemical messengers journey throughout the lymphatic system and blood to deliver their communiqués. These chemical couriers are:
- Immune Modulators
These chemical messengers journeying from the brain and ANS to the immune cells can modify the travel ability, killing ability, and copying ability of immune cells. At the same time, chemical messengers travel from immune cells to the brain. Keeping the brain in the loop about the effectiveness and the workings of the immune system, simultaneously influencing mood state and physiologic responses in the body. Let's take a look at some of them.
These neurotransmitters are the language of the nervous system. The medium by which neurons communicate with each other and the rest of the body. Neurotransmitters are supplied by the brain, on stimulus by a pre-synaptic cell, then cross the synapse to influence a post-synaptic cell. in this way, neurotransmitters forward their messages. Receptors for neurotransmitters are found on immune cells; furthermore, immune cells produce neurotransmitters.(2)
released via the HPA axis are in charge of the activity and release of hormones from all the other glands
The endocrine system produces hormones such as, for example, the, gonadal steroids, the thyroid hormones, and the adrenal hormones. These have a direct effect on the immune response through their dialog with immune cells.(3) Hormones affect their target cells by changing rates of cellular processes. In addition, immune cells are capable of producing hormones themselves, leading again to a bi-directional exchange.(4) It is worthwhile to note the very interesting fact that cancer cells synthesize hormones identical to the endocrine glands, but in an unrestrained out of control extent.
My next post will cover Neuropeptides exclusively. These neuropeptides are believed to run every system in our body. This is important because they control your physiology, your health, your tendency to disease. The research on neuropeptides has provided some of the most revealing factors behind the effects of the mind on immunity.
1. Besedovsky H, Sorkin E. Immunologic-Neuroendocrine Circuits: Physiological Approaches. In Ader R. Editor: Psychoneuroimmunology. New York. (1981) Academic Press
2. Hall N., Goldstein A. Neurotransmitters and the Immune System. In Ader R. Editor: Psychoneuroimmunology. New York.(1981) Academic Press
2. Roszman T., Carlson S. Neurotransmitters and Molecular Signaling in the Immune System. In Ader R., Felten D., Cohen N. Editors: Psychoneuroimmunology. New York. (1991) Academic Press
2. Stead R. et al. Interaction of the Mucosal Immune and Peripheral Nervous System. In Ader R., Felten D., Cohen N. Editors: Psychoneuroimmunology. New York. (1991) Academic Press
3. Besedovsky H., del Rey A. Physiological Implications of the Immune-Neuro-Endocrine Network. In Ader R., Felten D., Cohen N. Editors: Psychoneuroimmunology. New York. (1991) Academic Press
4. Renoux G., Biziere K. Neurocortex Lateralization of Immune Function and of the Activities of Imuthiol, a T-cell Specific Immunopotentiator. In Ader R., Felten D., Cohen N. Editors: Psychoneuroimmunology. New York. (1991) Academic Press