Evidence for the involvement of β-adrenergic receptors in conditioned immunomodulation

Linda J. Luecken, Donald T. Lysle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


This study investigates the role of β-adrenergic receptors in the immunomodulatory effects of a conditioned aversive stimulus (CS). A CS is an environmental event that is not inherently aversive, but acquires aversive properties through pairings with a stimulus such as electric shock. This study evaluated the effects of administration of the β1-receptor selective antagonist atenolol, and the β2-receptor antagonist ICI 118,551 on conditioned immune alterations. Administration of either antagonist prior to presentation of the CS resulted in a dose-dependent attenuation of the CS-induced suppression of splenic T-cell proliferative response to concanavalin. A, phytohemagglutinin, and the combination of ionomycin/phorbol-myristate-acetate. Furthermore, both antagonists dose-dependently attenuated the CS-induced suppression of γ-interferon production by concanavalin-A (ConA)-stimulated splenocytes. In contrast, neither antagonist significantly attenuated the CS-induced suppression of the B-cell mitogenic response to LPS, interleukin-2 production, natural killer cell activity, or mitogenic responsiveness of blood lymphocytes. Thus it is likely that multiple mechanisms are involved in CS-induced immune alterations and these results clearly implicate β1 and β2-adrenergic receptors in a subset of immunomodulatory effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-219
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Atenolol
  • Conditioned aversive stimulus
  • ICI 118,551
  • Immunomodulation
  • β-Adrenergic receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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