Effect of food-restriction stress on immune response in mice

J Neuroimmunol. 1990 Nov;30(1):23-9. doi: 10.1016/0165-5728(90)90049-s.


Daily 23-h food deprivation for 1-5 days induced gastric ulcers and atrophic changes of the spleen and thymus, accompanied by a rise in plasma cortisol and catecholamine levels in mice. It also modulated several immune cell functions in the spleen including a drop in the B cell population but no change in the mitogen response of the B cells, an increase in T cell population but no change in the L3T4/Lyt2 ratio and an early increase in natural killer activity and O2- production by macrophages. These effects are thought to correlate to the increase in stress-associated humoral factors and this may partly result from stress induced by food restriction.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Catecholamines / blood
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Food Deprivation*
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Immune System / physiology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Organ Size
  • Stress, Physiological / immunology*
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology


  • Catecholamines
  • Superoxides
  • Hydrocortisone