Influenza virus-specific immunological memory is enhanced by repeated social defeat

Jacqueline W. Mays, Michael T. Bailey, John T. Hunzeker, Nicole D. Powell, Tracey Papenfuss, Erik A. Karlsson, David A. Padgettand, John F. Sheridan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Immunological memory (MEM) development is affected by stress-induced neuroendocrine mediators. Current knowledge about how a behavioral interaction, such as social defeat, alters the development of adaptive immunity, and MEM is incomplete. In this study, the experience of social disruption stress (SDR) prior to a primary influenza viral infection enhanced the frequency and function of the T cell memory pool. Socially stressed mice had a significantly enlarged population of CD8+ T cells specific for the immunodominant NP366-74 epitope of A/PR/8/34 virus in lung and spleen tissues at 6-12 wk after primary infection (resting memory). Moreover, during resting memory, SDR-MEM mice responded with an enhanced footpad delayed-type hypersensitivity response, and more IFN-γ-producing CD4+ T cells were detected after ex vivo stimulation. When mice were rechallenged with A/PR/8/34 virus, SDR-MEM mice terminated viral gene expression significantly earlier than MEM mice and generated a greater DbNP366-74CD8+ T cell response in the lung parenchyma and airways. This enhancement was specific to the T cell response. SDR-MEM mice had significantly attenuated anti-influenza IgG titers during resting memory. Similar experiments in which mice were primed with X-31 influenza and challenged with A/PR/8/34 virus elicited similar enhancements in the splenic and lung airway Db NP366-74CD8+ T cell populations in SDR-MEM mice. This study demonstrates that the experience of repeated social defeat prior to a primary viral infection significantly enhances virus-specific memory via augmentation of memory T cell populations and suggests that social stressors should be carefully considered in the design and analysis of future studies on antiviral immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2014-2025
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2010

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Influenza virus-specific immunological memory is enhanced by repeated social defeat'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this