Social isolation stress exacerbates autoimmune disease in MRL/lpr mice

J Neuroimmunol. 2005 Jan;158(1-2):138-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2004.09.002.


The potential physiological mechanisms explaining an influence of psychosocial stress on autoimmune diseases remain undetermined. Exposure of chronic social isolation stress to MRL/lpr mice significantly enhanced the degree of proteinuria after 20 weeks of age and reduced the survival rate. The serum anti-dsDNA IgG2a levels were increased significantly by stress at 19 weeks of age, which was simultaneously accompanied by inhibition of the serum corticosterone elevation. Furthermore, stress caused increased IFN-gamma production from anti-CD3-stimulated splenic mononuclear cells, whereas IL-4 and IL-10 production decreased. These results indicated that isolation stress exacerbated autoimmune disease in MRL/lpr mice, the possible mechanism for which might be related to stress-induced dysregulation of Th1/Th2 balance and inhibition of the blood corticosterone response to inflammatory stimuli.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / metabolism
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / mortality
  • Autoimmune Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Corticosterone / blood
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / blood
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred MRL lpr / physiology*
  • Proteinuria / metabolism
  • Social Isolation*
  • Stress, Psychological / immunology
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Autoantibodies
  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes
  • Corticosterone