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      Interaction of the endocrine system with inflammation: a function of energy and volume regulation

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      , 1

      Arthritis Research & Therapy

      BioMed Central

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          Abstract

          During acute systemic infectious disease, precisely regulated release of energy-rich substrates (glucose, free fatty acids, and amino acids) and auxiliary elements such as calcium/phosphorus from storage sites (fat tissue, muscle, liver, and bone) are highly important because these factors are needed by an energy-consuming immune system in a situation with little or no food/water intake (sickness behavior). This positively selected program for short-lived infectious diseases is similarly applied during chronic inflammatory diseases. This review presents the interaction of hormones and inflammation by focusing on energy storage/expenditure and volume regulation. Energy storage hormones are represented by insulin (glucose/lipid storage and growth-related processes), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) (muscle and bone growth), androgens (muscle and bone growth), vitamin D (bone growth), and osteocalcin (bone growth, support of insulin, and testosterone). Energy expenditure hormones are represented by cortisol (breakdown of liver glycogen/adipose tissue triglycerides/muscle protein, and gluconeogenesis; water retention), noradrenaline/adrenaline (breakdown of liver glycogen/adipose tissue triglycerides, and gluconeogenesis; water retention), growth hormone (glucogenic, lipolytic; has also growth-related aspects; water retention), thyroid gland hormones (increase metabolic effects of adrenaline/noradrenaline), and angiotensin II (induce insulin resistance and retain water). In chronic inflammatory diseases, a preponderance of energy expenditure pathways is switched on, leading to typical hormonal changes such as insulin/IGF-1 resistance, hypoandrogenemia, hypovitaminosis D, mild hypercortisolemia, and increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Though necessary during acute inflammation in the context of systemic infection or trauma, these long-standing changes contribute to increased mortality in chronic inflammatory diseases.

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          The complex role of estrogens in inflammation.

          There is still an unresolved paradox with respect to the immunomodulating role of estrogens. On one side, we recognize inhibition of bone resorption and suppression of inflammation in several animal models of chronic inflammatory diseases. On the other hand, we realize the immunosupportive role of estrogens in trauma/sepsis and the proinflammatory effects in some chronic autoimmune diseases in humans. This review examines possible causes for this paradox. This review delineates how the effects of estrogens are dependent on criteria such as: 1) the immune stimulus (foreign antigens or autoantigens) and subsequent antigen-specific immune responses (e.g., T cell inhibited by estrogens vs. activation of B cell); 2) the cell types involved during different phases of the disease; 3) the target organ with its specific microenvironment; 4) timing of 17beta-estradiol administration in relation to the disease course (and the reproductive status of a woman); 5) the concentration of estrogens; 6) the variability in expression of estrogen receptor alpha and beta depending on the microenvironment and the cell type; and 7) intracellular metabolism of estrogens leading to important biologically active metabolites with quite different anti- and proinflammatory function. Also mentioned are systemic supersystems such as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the sensory nervous system, and the sympathetic nervous system and how they are influenced by estrogens. This review reinforces the concept that estrogens have antiinflammatory but also proinflammatory roles depending on above-mentioned criteria. It also explains that a uniform concept as to the action of estrogens cannot be found for all inflammatory diseases due to the enormous variable responses of immune and repair systems.
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            Neural regulation of innate immunity: a coordinated nonspecific host response to pathogens.

            The central nervous system (CNS) regulates innate immune responses through hormonal and neuronal routes. The neuroendocrine stress response and the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems generally inhibit innate immune responses at systemic and regional levels, whereas the peripheral nervous system tends to amplify local innate immune responses. These systems work together to first activate and amplify local inflammatory responses that contain or eliminate invading pathogens, and subsequently to terminate inflammation and restore host homeostasis. Here, I review these regulatory mechanisms and discuss the evidence indicating that the CNS can be considered as integral to acute-phase inflammatory responses to pathogens as the innate immune system.
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              Immune-neuro-endocrine interactions: facts and hypotheses.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Arthritis Res Ther
                Arthritis Res. Ther
                Arthritis Research & Therapy
                BioMed Central
                1478-6354
                1478-6362
                2014
                13 February 2014
                13 August 2014
                : 16
                : 1
                : 203
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Laboratory of Experimental Rheumatology and Neuroendocrine Immunology, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital, F.J. Strauss-Allee 11, 93042 Regensburg, Germany
                Article
                ar4484
                10.1186/ar4484
                3978663
                24524669
                53105397-8209-4ba4-a753-7872cf96b602
                Copyright © 2014 Straub; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                The licensee has exclusive rights to distribute this article, in any medium, for 6 months following its publication. After this time, the article is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Orthopedics

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