Dissident AIDS Database

Co-factorsStressCortisol mediatedLymphocytopenia
The effect of in vivo hydrocortisone on sub-populations of human lymphocytes.
 Fauci A.S. & Dale D.C.
  In the mid-70s Fauci and his working group showed that after the administration of cortisol (a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress) the body appeared to respond with a selective reduction in the number of CD4-cells. This was found to be because most of this sub-group of white blood cells migrated from the blood circulating in the blood vessels into other areas of the body outside the vascular system. After the withdrawal of cortisol, the CD4-cells return to the circulating blood and CD4/CD8 ratio returns to normal.
  J. Clin. Invest., 53:240-246 (1974).1974
The effect of hydrocortisone on the kinetics of normal human lymphocytes.
 Fauci A.S. & Dale D.C.
  In the mid-70s Fauci and his working group showed that after the administration of cortisol (a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress) the body appeared to respond with a selective reduction in the number of CD4-cells. This was found to be because most of this sub-group of white blood cells migrated from the blood circulating in the blood vessels into other areas of the body outside the vascular system. After the withdrawal of cortisol, the CD4-cells return to the circulating blood and CD4/CD8 ratio returns to normal.
  Blood, 46:235 (1975).1974
The differential effect of in vivo hydrocortisone on the kinetics of sub-populations of human peripheral blood thymus-derived lymphocytes.
 B.F. Haynes & A.S. Fauci
  In the mid-70s Fauci and his working group showed that after the administration of cortisol (a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress) the body appeared to respond with a selective reduction in the number of CD4-cells. This was found to be because most of this sub-group of white blood cells migrated from the blood circulating in the blood vessels into other areas of the body outside the vascular system. After the withdrawal of cortisol, the CD4-cells return to the circulating blood and CD4/CD8 ratio returns to normal.
  J. Clin. Invest., 61:703-707 (1978).1978
A systematic study of host defense processes in badly injured patients.
 Polk HC, George CD, Cost K, et al.
  This paper is distinctive in that it attempts to explain a mechanism for the lowered CD4 counts, citing a study supporting the hypothesis that increased cortisol levels are responsible for the decline, and that increased cortisol is also a normal response to injury.
  Ann Surg, 1986, 204; 282-3001986
The stress hormone, cortisol, synergizes with HIV-1 gp-120 to induce apoptosis of normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
 Nair MPN, Mahajan S, Hou J, Sweet AM, Schwartz SA.
  "Both quantitative and qualitative defects in immune functions in patients with AIDS may result from induction of programmed cell death or apoptosis of CD4 T lymphocytes. We postulate that neurohormones may interact with gp-120 that is shed during active HIV infection and cause apoptosis of immunocompetent cells leading to immunopathogenesis of HIV infections. In this study, we investigated the synergistic effect of cortisol plus HIV gp-120 in inducing apoptosis of lymphocytes from normal subjects... Concentrations of cortisol and gp-120 that did not produce apoptosis when used separately, induced significant apoptosis when used in combination... This study suggests that the stress-associated neurohormone, cortisol, synergizes with HIV peptides in causing apoptosis of normal lymphocytes. The synergistic effect of cortisol and gp- 120 in inducing apoptosis of lymphocytes is consistent with a model proposing that stress-associated and circulating HIV-1 derived soluble products may cause progression of HIV infections."
  Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand) 2000 Nov;46(7):1227-382000
Effects of endogenous cortisol on the function of nonspecific T-suppressors and quantitative characteristics of main subpopulations of circulating T-lymphocytes in leprosy
 Naumov VZ, Saroiants LV, Balybin ES.
  "Serum hydrocortisone levels, cellular immunity and their correlation were studied in 38 patients with lepromatous lepra in regression. 12 of them had exacerbation of specific polyneuritis. The latter condition is accompanied by a rise in hydrocortisone concentrations. Relative number of blood CD8+ lymphocytes correlated positively with hydrocortisone content, whereas the quantity of CD4+ cells correlated negatively..."
  Probl Tuberk 1995;(2):49-511995
Serum cortisol and DHEA concentrations during HIV infection.
 Christeff N, Gherbi N, Mammes O, Dalle MT, Gharakhanian S, Lortholary O, Melchior JC, Nunez EA.
  "The progression of HIV infection is accompanied by severe immunodepression and cachexia, particularly during advanced stages. The immune depression is due largely to a dramatic drop in the number of CD4 cells... We determined the serum concentrations of cortisol and DHEA and their correlations with absolute CD4 cell counts and changes in body weight of HIV-positive men. The results of five retrospective and prospective studies indicate that the serum concentrations of cortisol and DHEA in HIV-infected patients were different from those of HIV-negative controls. Serum cortisol was elevated at all stages of infection (+20 to +50%, p < .05 to p < .001) particularly in AIDS patients (stage IV C)... There was a negative linear correlation between the CD4 cell counts and cortisol (r = -0.4, p < .02)... There is thus a link between the circulating concentrations of adrenal steroids and the progression of immunosuppression and cachexia during HIV-infection. This raises the question of whether there is a cause-and-effect relationship between clinical progression and circulating steroid concentrations..."
  Psychoneuroendocrinology 1997;22 Suppl 1:S11-81997
CD4 and CD8 lymphocyte and cortisol response patterns in elderly and young males after methylprednisone exposure.
 Tornatore KM, Venuto RC, Logue G, Davis PJ
  Tornatore found reductions of 70% in the number of CD4 cells in both young and elderly people after a single injection of a synthetic analogue of cortisol called methylprednisone. After the single injection, it took 8-12 hours for the numbers of lymphocytes to return to normal.
  J Med; 1998; 29 (3-4); 159-183.1998
Textbook of Medical Physiology.
 Guyton AC & Hall JE
  "Almost any type of physical or mental stress can lead within minutes to greatly enhanced secretion of ACTH and consequently cortisol as well, often increasing cortisol secretion as much as 20-fold. Cortisol suppresses the immune system, causing lymphocyte production to decrease markedly. The T lymphocytes are especially suppressed. This effect begins within a few minutes of injection of cortisol and becomes marked within a few hours. Indeed, a finding of lymphocytopenia or eosinopenia is an important diagnostic criterion for overproduction of cortisol by the adrenal gland. Likewise, the administration of large doses of cortisol causes significant atrophy of all the lymphoid tissue throughout the body... This occasionally can lead to fulminating infection and death from diseases that would otherwise not be lethal, such as fulminating tuberculosis in a person whose disease had previously been arrested."
  Saunders, 1996, New York1996
Textbook of Medical Physiology
 Guyton AC & Hall JE
  "Almost any type of physical or mental stress can lead within minutes to greatly enhanced secretion of ACTH and consequently cortisol as well, often increasing cortisol secretion as much as 20-fold. Cortisol suppresses the immune system, causing lymphocyte production to decrease markedly. The T lymphocytes are especially suppressed. Cortisol decreases the number of eosinophils and lymphocytes in the blood; this effect begins within a few minutes of injection of cortisol and becomes marked within a few hours. Indeed, a finding of lymphocytopenia or eosinopenia is an important diagnostic criterion for overproduction of cortisol by the adrenal gland. Likewise, the administration of large doses of cortisol causes significant atrophy of all the lymphoid tissue throughout the body... This occasionally can lead to fulminating infection and death from diseases that would otherwise not be lethal, such as fulminating tuberculosis in a person whose disease had previously been arrested"
  Saunders; New York1996