Research Papers:

Chronic grouped social restriction triggers long-lasting immune system adaptations

Rui Tian, Gonglin Hou, Liuwei Song, Jianming Zhang and Ti-Fei Yuan _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:33652-33657. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16856

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Rui Tian1,2,*, Gonglin Hou1,*, Liuwei Song3, Jianming Zhang1, Ti-Fei Yuan4,5,6

1Department of Psychology, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou, China

2State Key Laboratory of Molecular Vaccinology and Molecular Diagnostics and Center for Molecular Imaging and Translational Medicine, School of Public Health, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China

3National Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China

4School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China

5Shanghai Key Laboratory of Psychotic Disorders, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

6State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

*The authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Gonglin Hou, email: [email protected]

Ti-Fei Yuan, email: [email protected]

Keywords: chronic stress, cytokines, chemokines, social restriction, human

Received: February 08, 2017     Accepted: March 28, 2017     Published: April 05, 2017


Chronic stress triggers rigorous psychological and physiological changes, including immunological system adaptations. However, the effects of long-term social restriction on human immune system have not been investigated. The present study is to investigate the effect of chronic stress on immune changes in human blood, with the stress stimuli controlled.10 male volunteers were group isolated from the modern society in a 50-meter-square room for 150 days, with enriched nutrition and good living conditions provided. Serum examination of immune system markers demonstrated numerous changes in different aspects of the immune functions. The changes were observed as early as 30 days and could last for another 150 days after the termination of the restriction period (300 days’ time point). The results strongly argued for the adaptation of immunological system under chronic social restriction stress in adult human, preceding a clear change in psychological conditions. The changes of these immune system factors could as well act as the serum biomarkers in clinical early-diagnosis of stress-related disorders.

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PII: 16856