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Biomedical Reviews

Neuroimmunoendocrinology of the cervical autonomic nervous system

Daniel P. Cardinali, Ana I. Esquifino


This article reviews several peripheral neuroendocrine relationships in the cervical region, namely the effect of the sympathetic innervation on adenohypophysial, thyroid and parathyroid hormone release, and the effect of parasympathetic innervation in thyroid and parathyroid glands. The possible pathways through which the central nervous system modulates the circadian organization of the immune response are also reviewed and the relative importance of circadian control of immune reactivity through local sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves and of neuroendocrine signals, like melatonin, is also discussed. Altogether the present article argues in favor of the concept that nerves arriving to the endocrine and lymphoid tissue constitute alternate pathways through which the brain controls immunoendocrine phenomena.

Biomedical Reviews 1998; 9: 47-59.

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About The Authors

Daniel P. Cardinali
University of Buenos Aires

Ana I. Esquifino
Complutense University of Madrid

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