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Immune responses during an antarctic summer


Muller, HK and Lugg, DJ and Ursin, H and Quinn, D and Donovan, K, Immune responses during an antarctic summer, Pathology, 27, (2) pp. 186-190. ISSN 0031-3025 (1995) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/00313029500169852


The immune status of 29 members of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) was investigated before, during, and after a 56 day summer voyage to Antarctica and correlated with psychological and physiological parameters. All subjects were healthy. Expedition personnel demonstrated decreased cell mediated immune responses (CMI) assessed by the CMI Multi-test; 21% were hypoergic. The major associated observation was a significant negative correlation with anxiety in Antarctica. However, perceived anxiety was greater before and after the voyage. No significant changes were found in T and B lymphocyte subsets, immunoglobulin and complement components and cutaneous blood flow, nor was there any clinical evidence of illness. Of the hormones examined only cortisol was low predeparture which may reflect increased perceived anxiety at that time. Changes in immune control mechanism were apparent as shown by reduced CMI responses and lowered tetanus antibody levels. Stress factors are postulated to induce depression of the immune response in Antarctica. The association with anxiety suggests that brain peptides or associated cytokines may have a role in mediating these immune events. Such alterations in immune status have implications for health management in isolated and extreme conditions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Immunology
Research Field:Cellular immunology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Muller, HK (Professor Konrad Muller)
UTAS Author:Quinn, D (Mr Quinn)
ID Code:5428
Year Published:1995
Web of Science® Times Cited:24
Deposited By:Pathology
Deposited On:1995-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-24

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