Well-being and immune response: a multi-system perspective

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2016 Aug;29:34-41. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2016.05.003. Epub 2016 Jun 16.


Whereas it is well-established that inflammation and other immune responses can change how we feel, most people are still surprised to hear that, conversely, well-being and its violations also affect our immune system. Here we show that those effects are highly adaptive and bear potential for both research and therapeutic applications. The studies discussed in this review demonstrate that immunity is tuned by ones emotions, personality, and social status as well as by other life style variables like sleep, nutrition, obesity, or exercise. We further provide a short excursion on the effects of stress and depression on immunity and discuss acute experimental endotoxemia as a model to study the effects of well-being on the innate immune response in humans.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Depression / immunology
  • Endotoxemia / immunology
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Immune System / metabolism
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology*
  • Life Style
  • Stress, Physiological / immunology*
  • Stress, Psychological / immunology*