Dianne Lorton and Denise L Bellinger
Kent State University, USA
Loma Linda University, USA
Scientific Tracks Abstracts: J Neurol Disord
Statement of the Problem: In 80% of patients, major life stressors precede onset of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid
arthritis (RA) linking stress pathway activation to disease onset. We examined the contribution of high sympathetic nervous
system activity to RA onset using the adjuvant-induced (AA) arthritis model in Lewis rats.
Methodology: Rats were immunized with complete Freund├ó┬?┬?s adjuvant to induce AA. From day (D) 12 (disease onset) through
D28, rats were treated with vehicle or 2 mg/kg/day moxonidine, an imidazoline receptor-1 agonist that acts centrally to reduce
SNS tone. Disease outcome was assessed using dorsoplantar widths and X-ray analysis. Cytokines critical for inflammation and
CD4+ Th cell development (interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, IL-6, IL-2, IL-4, IFN-gamma,
and tumor growth factor (TGF)-beta) were assessed in spleen, draining lymph node (DLN) and peripheral blood mononuclear
cells (PBMCs) by enzyme-linked immunoassays.
Findings: Treatment with moxonidine dramatically prevented hind foot inflammation and joint destruction in AA compared
with vehicle treatment. In DLN cells, moxonidine treatment had no effect on cytokine production. In contrast, moxonidine
treatment significantly reduced IL-1beta, IL-2, IL-4 and IFN-gamma in PBMCs. Drug treatment decreased splenocyte
production of TGF-beta and IFN-gamma by ~50% and ~30, respectively.
Conclusion & Significance: Lowering SNS tone effectively reduced clinical signs of disease and altered production of
cytokines involved in inflammation and shifting the balance between auto-reactive CD4+Th cells and T regulatory cells in
directions expected to limit disease activity. This research implicates high nerve firing rates as a contributor to the pathogenesis
of autoimmune arthritis. A better understanding of the role of the SNS in autoimmunity is a necessary step in devising rational
preventative and better therapeutic interventions.
1. Lorton D, Bellinger D L (2015) Molecular mechanisms underlying ├?┬▓-adrenergic receptor-mediated cross-talk between sympathetic neurons and immune cells. Int J Mol Sci. 16:5635-65.
2. Lorton D, Bellinger D L (2015) Sympathetic nervous system regulation of Th cells in autoimmunity: Beyond Th1 and Th2 cell balance. Clin Cell Immunol 6:5.
3. Lubahn C L, Lorton D, Schaller J A, Sweeney S J, Bellinger D L (2014) Targeting ├?┬▒- and ├?┬▓-Adrenergic receptors differentially shifts Th1, Th2, and inflammatory cytokine profiles in immune organs to attenuate adjuvant arthritis. Front Immunol. 5:346.
4. Bellinger D L, Lorton D (2014) Autonomic regulation of cellular immune function. Auton Neurosci. 182:15-41.
5. Perez S D, Kozic B, Molinaro C A, Thyagarajan S, Ghamsary M, Lubahn C L, Lorton D, Bellinger D L (2012) Chronically lowering sympathetic activity protects sympathetic nerves in spleens from aging F344 rats. J Neuroimmunology 247:38-51.
Dianne Lorton has completed her PhD in Neurosciences from Indiana State University in affiliation with Indiana University School of Medicine. She has completed her Post-doctoral training in Pharmacology from Duke University and in Neuroimmunology from the University of Rochester. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Kent State University in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has published over 70 papers (manuscripts, reviews, and book chapters) on neuroimmunology focusing on sympathetic nervous system regulation of immunity.
Neurological Disorders received 1123 citations as per Google Scholar report