This study explores by means of statistical modeling the relations between adrenocorticotrophin hormone (ACTH) and Cortisol levels and distribution and function of peripheral blood cells in response to an acute stressor consisting of a standardized speech task in breast cancer patients with axillary lymphnode metastases and distant metastases. As a control group age-matched women participated in this study. The preliminary findings show that the effect of ACTH on imrrmnoreacrivity is related to the health of the donor. In node-positive breast cancer patients and healthy women, ACTH has a modest positive effect on T lymphocyte percentages and on pokeweedinduced proliferation at baseline and in response to the speech task. In contrast, in breast cancer patients with distant metastases ACTH has a negative effect on T lymphocyte percentages and function at baseline and in response to the stressor. Interestingly, neither ACTH nor Cortisol levels were related to natural killer (NK) cell percentages and natural killer cell activity (NKCA). In addition, it appeared that Cortisol had a positive effect on CD3 cell percentages when the health of the donor was taken into account. This effect was most distinct on CD3 cells measured at baseline. If replicated on a larger scale, these findings may indicate that the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis plays a role in the adaptation of the host defenses in reaction to acute stress, particularly those involving T lymphocytes. Moreover, these findings may suggest that the health of the donor may be an important effect modification factor in the relations between neuroendocrines and immunoreacttvity.
- adrenocorticotrophin hormone (ACTH)
- breast cancer
- statistical modelin
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology