Editor: Nadia Danilova

Stress Response And Immunity: Links And Trade Offs

eBook: US $129 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $219
Printed Copy: US $155
Library License: US $516
ISBN: 978-981-14-3715-1 (Print)
ISBN: 978-981-14-3717-5 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2019
DOI: 10.2174/97898114371751200101

Introduction

When environmental conditions deviate from the optimal range, stress ensues. Stress response is a set of reactions that allow the organism to adjust and survive adverse conditions. Stress can be physical, such as extreme temperature, radiation, injury, or psychological, caused by perceived danger or deprivation. Every living cell has biochemical mechanisms to cope with physical stress. These mechanisms show a degree of similarity among several types of living organisms.

Stress Response and Immunity: Links and Trade Offs explores the functional and evolutionary connections between stress response and immunity. The book introduces the reader to the concept of stress and subsequently examines the connection between stress response and immunity at various evolutionary stages of living organisms - from bacteria to humans. The book also features chapters dedicated to the role of tumor suppressor genes and the immune system of the brain.

The information presented in this reference demonstrates the profound effects of physical and psychological stress on human health. Readers with basic knowledge of molecular biology will learn about the interesting facets of stress responses and the evolutionary trade offs observed in different life forms.

Preface

All living organisms face two major challenges: to adjust to constantly changing environment and to protect themselves from pathogens. How organisms integrate responses to these challenges is the subject of this book. Cellular machinery can function properly only in a narrow range of condition. The same is true for multicellular organisms. When conditions deviate from the acceptable range, that creates stress and requires change. Physical stress can be caused by starvation, heat, cold, irradiation, and other factors. In addition, higher animals can experience mental stress caused by fear, neglect, isolation etc. Stress response is a set of measures that preserve homeostasis in the face of environmental changes. Pathogens are another challenge for most life forms. Viruses and mobile genetic elements infect all organisms. Multicellular organisms can also be infected by bacterial and eukaryotic pathogens. These subjects are presented in the first two chapters of the book.

The next section presents the elaborate mechanisms of stress and immune responses in bacteria and archaea. A common response to stress in prokaryotes includes, among other means, switching to an alternative transcriptional mode. Prokaryotic immunodefense mechanisms are built on two strategies that are also conserved in eukaryotes. One is innate immunity based on genetically encoded molecules/receptors. The other — adaptive immunity is based on unique molecules/receptors that are created de novo in response to infection.

Eukaryotic stress response is discussed next. Global inhibition of translation, called integrated stress response, is a common reaction to many stresses in eukaryotic cells. In multicellular organisms, most individual cells have autonomous immunodefense mechanisms which function in collaboration with stress response. Some stress responses can participate in immunodefense. A notable example is unfolded protein response. It cleanses the cell of misfolded proteins plus also targets viral proteins because of their difference from cellular proteins. In animals, cellular stress response can trigger cytokine production and systemic response, which includes inflammation and engagement of specialised immune systems. Even subtle changes in homeostasis can activate such a response. The incredible sensitivity of cellular machinery to changes has a dark side; stress and ensuing immune mechanisms such as inflammation and complement can be induced without infection or substantial injury and lead to pathology.

In complex organisms with specialised immune systems, discussed next, the relationship between stress and immunity becomes more complex and sometimes antagonistic. Mental stress can cause activation of immune mechanisms, which, in turn, can affect the brain’s functioning, and behavior. In the recent decade, science has discovered the paramount importance of interaction of all levels of stress response with immunity in the etiology of many human diseases from atherosclerosis to Alzheimer’s.

Nadia Danilova
Department of Molecular,
Cell & Developmental Biology,
University of California, Los Angeles CA,
USA

RELATED BOOKS

.A Handbook of Oral Physiology and Oral Biology.
.Challenging Aging: The Anti-senescence Effects of Hormesis, Environmental Enrichment, and Information Exposure.
.Comparative Bioacoustics: An Overview.
.From Microbe to Man: Biological Responses in Microbes, Animals, and Humans Upon Exposure to Artificial Static Magnetic Fields.