[Frontiers in Bioscience 14, 112-129, January 1, 2009]

Neural-immune system interactions in Xenopus

Kevin S. Kinney1, Nicholas Cohen2

1 Department of Biology, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN 46135, 2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642


1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. A case for comparative psychoneuroimmunology
4. Current understanding
4.1. Innervation
4.2. Transmitter regulation of immunity
4.3. Endocrine effects on immunity
4.3.1. Hypophyseal axis hormones
4.3.2. Seasonal effects on immunity
4.3.3. Metamorphosis and immunity
4.4. Heat shock proteins and neural-immune system interactions
5. Speculations, applications, and future directions
5.1. The amphibian decline problem: applied comparative psychoneuroimmunology
6. Acknowledgements
7. References


In Xenopus, as in mammals, there is a functionally significant bidirectional communication between the neuroendocrine and immune systems. In this review, we describe the evidence for the neural innervation of Xenopus lymphoid organs, review the effects of neurotransmitter and hormone manipulations on measures of immunity, and discuss the role of hormones on immunological changes during metamorphosis. We also speculate as to the phylogenetic significance of these data, and outline possible areas of future research