Table 1

 Immunomodulation by adrenal/gonadal hormones and sympathetic and sensory neurotransmitters.37

HormoneModulation of innate and adaptive immune functions
COX-2, cyclo-oxygenase type II; DHEA, dehydroepiandrosterone; HLA, human lymphocyte antigen; IL, interleukin; IFN, interferon; NK, natural killer cell; TNF, tumour necrosis factor.
CortisolInhibition of oxidative burst, phagocytosis, collagenase production, antigen presentation, COX-2, IL1, IL2, IL6, IL12, IFNγ, TNF etc, support of Th2 pathways (together with norepinephrine)
DHEAInhibition of oxygen radical production, IL1, IL6, TNF
OestrogenInhibition of IL1, IL6, TNF (pharmacologically high concentration), stimulation of immunoglobulin production (physiological concentration)
ProgesteroneInhibition of T helper 1 pathways, increase of T helper 2 pathways, increase of CD30 expression on T cells, inhibition of TNF, IL1β, and IL6
Norepinephrine (via β adrenoceptors)Inhibition of oxygen radicals, phagocytosis, NK cell activity, HLA class II expression, IL2, IFNγ, IL12, TNF, increase of Th2 pathways (together with cortisol)