Submitted to: Proceedings Of Animal Stress Workshop
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 4, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: A considerable amount of evidence has substantiated that the response to stress by the HPA axis is bidirectional, with the endocrine system communicating with the immune system and the immune system communicating and modulating the endocrine responses. The communicating molecules involved are referred to as cytokines, and although important in the cascade of events in response to stress, both the HPA and cytokines can also function independently. Currently there are approximately twenty-two recognized major cytokines, located in many tissues including the endocrine, immune and nervous systems. These cytokines have a multitude of functions, including responding to stressors, disease and trauma and regulating not only the immune system but also behavior and healing. As our knowledge of the stress response has expanded from GCC secretions from the adrenal gland to the bidirectional communication of the HPA axis with the cytokines and the resulting impact on physiological responses such as immune cell proliferation, fever and behavior, our choices to characterize the stress response are now more complex and multidisciplinary. No longer is measuring stress a matter of "choosing your favorite physiological parameter" but rather a matter of the relevant question(s), relevant stressor-paradigm-challenge(s) and relevant analytical techniques that clarify the role and the mechanisms by which your favorite parameter is involved in the stress response.