The modulator role of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus on immune responsiveness

Vasile Hefco, Ana Olariu, Andreea Hefco, Toshitaka Nabeshima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Role of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVH) upon immune modulation was studied by either mechanically destroying the PVH (PVHL) or by isolating the PVH (PVHI) with a knife-cut. PVHL or PVHI manipulations induced significant leukopenia characterized by a decrease in the number of neutrophils and lymphocytes two weeks post surgery. The numbers of circulating monocytes and eosinophils were not affected by PVH interventions. In addition, PVHL and PVHI were also associated with a reduction, relative to controls, in the phagocytosis by neutrophils and an increase in blastic transformation of T lymphocytes induced by phytohemagglutinin-M (PHA-M). Antibody titers rose against sheep red blood cells (SRBC) after either PVHL or PVHI were reduced. The magnitude of the SRBC antibody reduction after PVH manipulations was similar to that observed in rats that received a peripheral chemical sympathectomy two hrs prior immunization. Comparison of thyroid hormones blood levels two weeks after PVHL or PVHI revealed significant reductions in comparison with sham-operated group (SO), whereas blood corticosterone was not significantly altered. In summary, we provide evidence that lesion or isolation of the PVH selectively reduces circulating white blood cells and the primary immune response, while it enhances the cell-mediated immune function. Taken together our data showed that PVH modulates immune functions by altering both the peripheral sympathetic tone and thyroid hormone secretion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-165
Number of pages8
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 03-2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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