What are some psychological conditioning techniques

Classically conditioned effects on lymphocyte circulation and cytokine synthesis in humans

  • Thesis
  • Classically conditioned effects on lymphocyte circulation and cytokine synthesis ...

Studies on animals have shown that immunomodulatory functions can be conditioned classically. The dissertation deals with the question of whether functional immune parameters can also be classically conditioned in humans as a reaction to the pairing of a novel stimulus with an immunosuppressant. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study design, healthy male subjects received either the immunosuppressant cyclosporine A or placebo in combination with a new type of drink during the conditioning week. In a second week, the re-exposure week, all test subjects were presented with the novel drink with placebo capsules. In comparison to the control group, the conditioned verum group showed, analogous to the cyclosporin A effect, a clearly suppressed synthesis of the relevant cytokines, interleukin-2 and interferon-? Both in the supernatant and at the intracellular level stimulated T lymphocytes after re-exposure. These conditioned effects in the functional capacity of the lymphocytes and cytokine production could neither be attributed to a changed circulation or distribution of the leukocytes, nor to the residual effects of cyclosporin A. Furthermore, an influence on the immune system by psychological factors such as stress and subjective influence on the test subjects could be excluded. The results of this study show new therapeutic possibilities for the treatment of immune-associated diseases with the help of classical conditioning, such as the use of conditioning techniques as supportive therapy for established pharmacological therapy schemes.

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