It is quite clear from our daily experiences that psychosocial stress and emotional factors affects immunity and health. Moreover, from the first pioneer studies in the emerging field of study concerning the relations between emotions and immunity, stress has been commonly associated with immune-suppression. However, several evidence reveal a more complex relationship between emotions and immunity, thus offering new insights for the study of the impact of emotional factors in the onset, development or severity of many disorders, including autoimmune diseases. The present review summarizes background data concerning the crosstalk between brain and immune system and emphasizes the role of cytokines (in addition to the extensive influence of cathecolamines and glucocorticoid hormones) as key-molecules and discusses related patents.
Keywords: Innate immunity, pro-inflammatory cytokines, psychosocial stress, emotions, autoimmunity, IL-1, IL-6, TNF, IL-2, IFN