Social stress alters splenocyte phenotype and function

J Neuroimmunol. 2002 Nov;132(1-2):66-71. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5728(02)00310-7.


Social stress of group-housed male mice induced a state of functional glucocorticoid (GC) resistance in splenocytes. The following studies examined the effects of paired-fighting (PF) stress on immune cell distribution and function in spleens of male mice. Following six daily PF stress sessions, splenic monocytes and neutrophils increased and lymphocytes decreased. PF also altered the distribution of CD62L and CD11b positive monocytes. Additionally, PF augmented proliferation and lowered the sensitivity of LPS-stimulated splenocytes to the antiproliferative effects of corticosterone, suggesting that PF induced a state of GC resistance in splenocytes. Together, these findings indicate that social stress altered phenotype and function of splenic immune cells. These findings may have implications for the healing of bite wounds that are often associated with social stress in rodents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD11b Antigen / analysis
  • Corticosterone / pharmacology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Immunophenotyping
  • L-Selectin / analysis
  • Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Monocytes / physiology
  • Neutrophils / physiology
  • Social Behavior
  • Spleen / cytology*
  • Stress, Psychological / immunology*
  • Stress, Psychological / pathology


  • CD11b Antigen
  • L-Selectin
  • Corticosterone