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Antarctic isolation: Immune and viral studies
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-16, 10:42 authored by Tingate, TR, Lugg, DJ, Muller, HK, Stowe, RP, Pierson, DL
Stressful environmental conditions are a major determinant of immune reactivity. This effect is pronounced in Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition populations exposed to prolonged periods of isolation in the Antarctic. Alterations of T cell function, including depression of cutaneous delayed-type hypersensitivity responses and a peak 48.9% reduction of T cell proliferation to the mitogen phytohaemagglutinin, were documented during a 9-month period of isolation. T cell dysfunction was mediated by changes within the peripheral blood mononuclear cell compartment, including a paradoxical atypical monocytosis associated with altered production of inflammatory cytokines. There was a striking reduction in the production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells of the predominant pro-inflammatory monokine TNF-Î± and changes were also detected in the production of IL-1, IL- 2, IL-6, IL-1ra and IL-10. Prolonged Antarctic isolation is also associated with altered latent herpesvirus homeostasis, including increased herpesvirus shedding and expansion of the polyclonal latent Epstein-Barr virus-infected B cell population. These findings have important long-term health implications.
Publication titleImmunology and Cell Biology
Department/SchoolTasmanian School of Medicine
Place of publicationAustralia