Natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity was determined at various intervals (0.5, 24 or 48 h) following exposure to uncontrollable footshock in 3 strains of mice. Stressor application provoked reductions of NK activity, but the time course of the NK changes varied across strains. Whereas NK cytotoxicity was markedly reduced in C57BL/6J mice 0.5-48 h following stressor exposure, this effect was delayed in C3H/HeJ mice, being evident 24-48 h following stressor application. In BALB/cByJ mice, NK activity was significantly reduced 24 h after footshock, but in contrast to the other strains returned to control levels within 48 h of stressor exposure. Central NE and DA concentrations and activity were influenced by the stressor treatment in a strain-dependent fashion. However, the relationship between the central amine variations and the alterations of NK cytotoxicity associated with the stressor was limited.

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Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Department of Psychology

Zalcman, S. (Steve), Irwin, J. (Jill), & Anisman, H. (1991). Stressor-induced alterations of natural killer cell activity and central catecholamines in mice. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 39(2), 361–366. doi:10.1016/0091-3057(91)90192-5