Female temperament, tumor development and life span: Relation to glucocorticoid and tumor necrosis factor α levels in rats

Sonia Angele Cavigelli, Jeanette M. Bennett, Kerry C. Michael, Laura Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Behavioral characteristics closely associated with specific physiological profiles present an important area of research in understanding health disparities. In particular, glucocorticoid overproduction may be an important factor moderating disease progression; natural variance in production of this steroid has been proposed as one mechanism underlying individual differences in health and disease. In the current paper, we examined immune parameters in female rats of two different behavioral types previously shown to have differential glucocorticoid production and life spans. We categorized young female rats according to their behavioral response to novelty (high- or low-locomotion), and compared their glucocorticoid production, adrenal size, thymus size, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) production, tumor development and life span. As expected, high-locomotion females produced more glucocorticoids and had larger adrenal glands during young adulthood than did low-locomotion females. High-locomotion females had significantly smaller thymuses and reduced TNF-α levels compared to low-locomotion, suggesting altered immune function in young adulthood. Finally, high-locomotion females had shorter life spans than did low-locomotion females, and this was particularly true in females that developed pituitary tumors, but not in those that developed mammary tumors. These results, along with other published findings, suggest that high-locomotion rodent females experience life-long elevations in glucocorticoid responses to novelty, and that these elevated levels may be comparable to chronic stress. This naturally occurring endocrine profile may influence immune responses which in turn could affect disease susceptibility. Variance in immune function across personality types may be partially moderated by natural variance in glucocorticoid production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-735
Number of pages9
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008

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Temperament
Locomotion
Glucocorticoids
Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
Neoplasms
Thymus Gland
Disease Susceptibility
Life Change Events
Health
Pituitary Neoplasms
Adrenal Glands
Individuality
Personality
Disease Progression
Rodentia
Steroids
Breast Neoplasms

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems

Cite this

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abstract = "Behavioral characteristics closely associated with specific physiological profiles present an important area of research in understanding health disparities. In particular, glucocorticoid overproduction may be an important factor moderating disease progression; natural variance in production of this steroid has been proposed as one mechanism underlying individual differences in health and disease. In the current paper, we examined immune parameters in female rats of two different behavioral types previously shown to have differential glucocorticoid production and life spans. We categorized young female rats according to their behavioral response to novelty (high- or low-locomotion), and compared their glucocorticoid production, adrenal size, thymus size, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) production, tumor development and life span. As expected, high-locomotion females produced more glucocorticoids and had larger adrenal glands during young adulthood than did low-locomotion females. High-locomotion females had significantly smaller thymuses and reduced TNF-α levels compared to low-locomotion, suggesting altered immune function in young adulthood. Finally, high-locomotion females had shorter life spans than did low-locomotion females, and this was particularly true in females that developed pituitary tumors, but not in those that developed mammary tumors. These results, along with other published findings, suggest that high-locomotion rodent females experience life-long elevations in glucocorticoid responses to novelty, and that these elevated levels may be comparable to chronic stress. This naturally occurring endocrine profile may influence immune responses which in turn could affect disease susceptibility. Variance in immune function across personality types may be partially moderated by natural variance in glucocorticoid production.",
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Female temperament, tumor development and life span : Relation to glucocorticoid and tumor necrosis factor α levels in rats. / Cavigelli, Sonia Angele; Bennett, Jeanette M.; Michael, Kerry C.; Klein, Laura.

In: Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Vol. 22, No. 5, 01.07.2008, p. 727-735.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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