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.

Dopamine, Natural killer cell cytotoxicity, Norepinephrine, Stress
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