Bereavement is associated with time-dependent decrements in cellular immune function in asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus type 1-seropositive homosexual men

Karl Goodkin, Daniel J. Feaster, Raymond Tuttle, Nancy T. Blaney, Mahendra Kumar, Marianna K. Baum, Paul Shapshak, Mary Ann Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations

Abstract

Seventy-nine human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-seropositive homosexual men participating in a longitudinal study of HIV-1 infection were assessed twice, 6 months apart, to investigate associations between bereavement and cellular immune function. Subjects were assessed by using a theory-driven model comprising life stressors, social support and coping style, and control variables. Natural killer cell cytotoxicity was decreased among the bereaved at both times. Lymphocyte proliferative response to phytohemagglutinin was decreased among the bereaved at the second time point but not at the first. These functional immune decrements are associated with increased neuroendocrine responses of the sympathetic adrenomedullary system as well as the limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Implications for differential neuroendocrine responses over time are discussed. Active coping style was independently and positively related to both immune measures. The results imply that a bereavement support group intervention merits investigation for an effect on immunological measures and clinical progression of HIV-1 infection as well as grief resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-118
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and diagnostic laboratory immunology
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (medical)

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