Effects of Social Stresses on Immune Response in Female and Male Mice

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Equity and Health Research, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran.

4 Immunoregulation Research Center, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran.

5 Shiraz Burn and Wound Healing Research Center, Amir-al-Momenin Burn Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.


Background: Social stress is a factor involved in the etiology of many diseases. Also, gender is another factor which predisposes individuals to certain disease. Results from animal and human studies suggest that socially-stressed men are more vulnerable to catching diseases compared to socially-stressed women.
Materials and Methods: The role of chronic social stress and gender were examined in the present study through implementing food deprivation, food intake inequality, and unstable social status (cage-mate change every three days) for a period of 14 days on 96 male and female mice. Then, vital activity of peritoneal macrophages and spleen’s lymphocytes were measured using MTT test as well as the concentration of Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-α) by ELISA technique.
Results: Our results showed that cell viability of peritoneal macrophages and spleen’s lymphocytes as well as serum concentration of TNF-α in all female and male stressed animals increased compared to the controls (PConclusion: The results suggest that social factors have significant effects on immunity and should be considered in the studies of gender differences for evaluating possible effective mechanisms.


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