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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.82  suppl.2 Rio de Janeiro  1987 

The immunomodulatory effects of behavior

Robert Ader1 

University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Department of Psychiatry, Rochester, USA


Evidence is presented indicating that behavioral conditioning techniques can be used to suppress and enhance antibody- and cell-mediated immune responses. Application of conditioning techniques in the pharmacotherapy of autoimmune disease in New Zeland mice resulted in a delay in the onset of lupus using a cumulative dose of immunosuppressive drug that was not, by itself, sufficient to alter the course of the autoimmune disease. Convesely, behavioral studies in lupus-proneMrl lpr (lpr and Mrl +/+ mice suggest further that immune status can influence behavior and that such behavior may serve to correct and immunologic dysregulation. Theses data are interpreted to indicate behavior can serve an immunomodulatory function.


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