Sleep and inflammation: psychoneuroimmunology in the context of cardiovascular disease.

TitleSleep and inflammation: psychoneuroimmunology in the context of cardiovascular disease.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMotivala SJ
JournalAnn Behav Med
Date Published2011 Oct
KeywordsBrain, Cardiovascular Diseases, Depressive Disorder, Major, Humans, Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System, Inflammation Mediators, Models, Biological, Signal Transduction, Sleep Disorders, Intrinsic

BACKGROUND: Poor sleep is prospectively linked to all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Inflammatory processes may be an important biological mechanism linking poor sleep to cardiovascular disease. Such processes involve active participation of signaling molecules called cytokines in development of atherosclerotic plaques.

PURPOSE: I review evidence from experimental sleep deprivation and clinical observational studies suggesting a bidirectional relationship between sleep and inflammatory cytokines.

RESULTS: Findings from sleep deprivation studies indicate that sleep loss is associated with increases in these cytokines. Similarly, studies in clinical populations with sleep problems, such as primary insomnia patients and those diagnosed with major depression, also show elevations in these same cytokines.

CONCLUSIONS: Bidirectional communication between the brain and the immune system is carried out through a complex network of autonomic nerves, endocrine hormones, and cytokines. Disturbed sleep appears to perturb the functioning of this network and therefore contribute to elevations in inflammatory mediators linked to cardiovascular disease.

Alternate JournalAnn Behav Med
PubMed ID21604067
Grant ListK23 AG027860 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States