* Evidence presented in this book suggests that the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems form the Neuroendoimmune Supersystem, which integrates all the biological functions of higher organisms both in health and disease for their entire life cycle.
* Contributors include both the scientists who initiated the work on the HPA axis and on the autonomic nervous system, and those who joined the field later.
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis controls reactions to stress and regulates various body processes such as digestion, the immune system, mood and sexuality, and energy usage.
This volume focuses on the role it plays in the immune system and provides substantive experimental and clinical data to support current understanding in the field, and potential applications of this knowledge in the treatment of disease.
Part 1: Physiology - Introduction: The HPA Axis and the Immune system: interactions in perspective; Physiology of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenocortical axis; Molecular mechanisms of glucocorticoid signaling; Organization of the sympathetic nervous system; The innate immune system; Specific immune response; The immune system of the brain; Part 2: Effect of the HPA axis and the sympathetic system on the immune system - Glucocorticoid effects on the immune response; Glucocorticoids and dendritic cells: a link between innate and adaptive immunity; Toll-like receptors and glucocorticoids; Effects of glucocorticoids on the developing thymus; Effects of catecholamines on the immune response; Enhancing versus suppressive effects of stress on immune function; Part 3: Effect of the immune response on the HPA axis and the sympathetic nervous system - Processing of cytokine signals at CNS levels: relevance for immune-HPA axis interactions; Inflammatory mediator action on the anterior pituitary gland; Neuroendocrinology and the Immune Response. Inflammatory mediator effects on the adrenal gland; Inflammatory mediators affect the autonomic nervous system; Part 4: Clinical implications of neuro-endocrine-immune interactions - The neuroendocrinology and Immunology of critical illness; Neuroendocrinology of inflammatory disorders; The HPA axis in rheumatic autoimmune disorders; Glucocorticoid resistance in inflammatory diseases; Glucocorticoids and asthma: from clinics to genes