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Behavioural conditioning of immune functions: how the central nervous system controls peripheral immune responses by evoking associative learning processes

Behavioural conditioning of immune functions: how the central nervous system controls peripheral immune responses by evoking associative learning processes

Reviews in the Neurosciences 19(1): 1-17

ISSN/ISBN: 0334-1763

PMID: 18561817

DOI: 10.1515/revneuro.2008.19.1.1

During the last 30 years of psychoneuroimmunology research the intense bi-directional communication between the central nervous system (CNS) and the immune system has been demonstrated in studies on the interaction between the nervous-endocrine-immune systems. One of the most intriguing examples of such interaction is the capability of the CNS to associate an immune status with specific environmental stimuli. In this review, we systematically summarize experimental evidence demonstrating the behavioural conditioning of peripheral immune functions. In particular, we focus on the mechanisms underlying the behavioural conditioning process and provide a theoretical framework that indicates the potential feasibility of behaviourally conditioned immune changes in clinical situations.

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Accession: 051769120

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