Massage-like stroking boosts the immune system in mice.
10913 - ?
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Recent clinical evidence suggests that the therapeutic effect of massage involves the immune system and that this can be exploited as an adjunct therapy together with standard drug-based approaches. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms behind these effects exploring the immunomodulatory function of stroking as a surrogate of massage-like therapy in mice. C57/BL6 mice were stroked daily for 8 days either with a soft brush or directly with a gloved hand and then analysed for differences in their immune repertoire compared to control non-stroked mice. Our results show that hand- but not brush-stroked mice demonstrated a significant increase in thymic and splenic T cell number (p < 0.05; p < 0.01). These effects were not associated with significant changes in CD4/CD8 lineage commitment or activation profile. The boosting effects on T cell repertoire of massage-like therapy were associated with a decreased noradrenergic innervation of lymphoid organs and counteracted the immunosuppressive effect of hydrocortisone in vivo. Together our results in mice support the hypothesis that massage-like therapies might be of therapeutic value in the treatment of immunodeficiencies and related disorders and suggest a reduction of the inhibitory noradrenergic tone in lymphoid organs as one of the possible explanations for their immunomodulatory function.
AuthorsMajor, B; Rattazzi, L; Brod, S; Pilipović, I; Leposavić, G; D'Acquisto, F
- Inflammation