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  • Hormones, Emotions and Immune System, They are All Interconnected.
    June 10, 2011 07:40
  • The human body consists of multiple systems that communicate to maintain homeostasis and health.  The coordinated interconnectedness of the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems is often overlooked when considering patient care.  Nevertheless, our health is hinged on the existence of neurotransmitters, hormones, and cytokines, which are essential chemical signals that mediate the communication between the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems, respectively.  Collectively, these systems constitute the Neuro-Endo-Immune (NEI) Supersystem. 

    Taking a closer look at the role of endocrinology in the NEI supersystem, there are several important hormone-neurotransmitter interactions and three axes at which much hormone-neurotransmitter-cytokine interaction occurs; including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis

    HPA Axis

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) is a neuroendocrine system that regulates the reactions to stress, energy storage, and the immune system.  Cytokines act at several levels of the HPA axis to induce the release of cortisol and epinephrine.  Cortisol and epinephrine act to suppress the immune response, thus forming a negative feedback loop.

    HPG Axis

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPG axis) is a neuroendocrine system that regulates the reproductive system.  The hypothalamus releases gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) to stimulate the pituitary to release luteinizing hormone (LH), which then signals the gonads.  This communication pathway ultimately leads to the production of testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone from the gonads.

    Estrogen tends to have a stimulatory effect on the immune system, while testosterone tends to have suppressive effects. For example, estrogen enhances the secretion of the cytokines IFN-γ, IL-1, and IL-10.  Testosterone generally decreases the secretion of the cytokines IFN-γ, IL-4, and IL-5.

    The cytokine IL-1β inhibits hypothalamic release of GnRH, and IL-1α inhibits LH release from the pituitary, both of which could lead to reduced sex hormone release from the gonads

    HPT Axis

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis (HPT axis) is a neuroendocrine system that regulates metabolism.  When the hypothalamus senses low circulating levels of the hormones T3 and T4, it signals to the pituitary, which then signals the thyroid gland to release T3 and T4.  T4 normally is converted to the more active T3, but T4 can also be converted to reverse T3 (rT3).  Reverse T3 antagonizes the T3 receptor, so high levels can be detrimental.

    The cytokines IL-1β, TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-6 can inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3, thereby shunting T4 towards the production of the potentially detrimental rT3.

    T3 can stimulate dendritic cell (DC) maturation, leading to DC-induced T cell proliferation and IFN-γ release.
    For more detail, visit  www.neurorelief.com   Dr. Kohani is an independent physician and does not work for Neuroscience but has successfully used the various tests offered by Neuroscience company in order to correctly diagnose the underlying root of the problem and address the symptoms more scientifically.
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