Immune regulation in Cushing's syndrome: Relationship to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hormones

Ziad Kronfol, Monica Starkman, David E. Schteingart, Vijendra Singh, Qun Zhang, Elizabeth Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are connected closely with immune measures. To investigate whether Cushing's syndrome (CS) is associated with immune dysregulation, we compared the percentage of specific lymphocyte subsets as well as natural killer cell activity (NKCA) in 48 patients with Cushing's syndrome and 48 age- and sex-matched normal controls. Lymphocyte subset analysis included the percentage of lymphocytes expressing CD3 (total T), CD4 (T helper/inducer), CD8 (T suppressor/cytotoxic) and CD56 (NK cell) antigens. Baseline plasma concentrations of cortisol, ACTH and β-endorphin as well as 24 h urinary-free cortisol (UFC) levels also were determined. Results indicated a decrease in the percentage of CD4+ cells (p < .05), an increase in the percentage of CD8+ cells (p < .05), a decrease in CD4/CD8 ratios (p < .01), and a reduction in NKCA (p < .05) in patients with CS compared to matched controls. We also found significant negative correlations between NKCA on the one hand and 24 h UFC (p < .05) and plasma β-endorphin (p < .05) on the other. These results indicate there is immune dysregulation in CS patients which can be explained in part by an increase in HPA-axis hormones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-608
Number of pages10
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume21
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1996
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Cushing Syndrome
Natural Killer Cells
Hormones
Endorphins
Hydrocortisone
Lymphocyte Subsets
Hypothalamic Hormones
CD4-CD8 Ratio
Pituitary Hormones
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
Lymphocytes
Antigens

Keywords

  • Cushing's syndrome
  • glucocorticoids
  • lymphocyte phenotype
  • natural killer cytotoxicity
  • neuroimmunomodulation
  • psychoneuroimmunology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Immune regulation in Cushing's syndrome : Relationship to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hormones. / Kronfol, Ziad; Starkman, Monica; Schteingart, David E.; Singh, Vijendra; Zhang, Qun; Hill, Elizabeth.

In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, Vol. 21, No. 7, 10.1996, p. 599-608.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kronfol, Ziad ; Starkman, Monica ; Schteingart, David E. ; Singh, Vijendra ; Zhang, Qun ; Hill, Elizabeth. / Immune regulation in Cushing's syndrome : Relationship to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hormones. In: Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1996 ; Vol. 21, No. 7. pp. 599-608.
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