Peri-pubertal Adrenal and Immune Function Development

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The pubertal process is marked by
significant adrenal and lymphoid tissue development and social behavior
development. Because the adrenal and immune systems are highly responsive to
environmental conditions, social experiences during this period may have a
significant impact on the development of these two systems. I will test the
hypothesis that puberty is a sensitive period during which individual
interactions with the social environment produce life-long changes in adrenal
and immune function and disease risk. Recent data from rats and children
indicate that during peri-puberty, adrenal and immune functioning begins to
differ significantly among individuals, with some individuals developing
response patterns similar to those associated with depression (e.g.
glucocorticoid hypersecretion and compromised immunity), which is often first
diagnosed shortly after puberty. I propose a study with rats that will identify
the peri-pubertal social conditions and personality traits that predict
glucocorticoid hypersecretion and immune suppression in adult rats. Experiments
involve manipulations of peri-pubertal social environment relative to
personality traits to determine what combination of these two variables leads
to differential adrenal and immune function in adulthood.
Effective start/end date9/1/018/31/02


  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $40,196.00

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