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Psychosocial and behavioral determinants of immune aging

Rector, Jerrald L (2015)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis explored the hypothesis that cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and its reactivation may be a shared mechanism linking psychosocial and behavioral factors with the age-associated decline in immunity, known as immunosenescence. The first empirical chapter (Chapter 3) showed that psychological stress factors were positively associated with CMV reactivation, as measured by increased CMV-specific IgG antibodies (CMV-IgG) among those infected, while socioeconomic and lifestyle factors were associated with CMV infection rates. Chapter 4 investigated personality traits and revealed that increased neuroticism predicted elevated odds of CMV infection and higher conscientiousness was associated with lower CMV-IgG levels. Chapter 5 demonstrated that more frequent physical activity was associated with lower levels of highly-differentiated T-cells, but this association was reduced to non-significance by adjustment for CMV infection. Chapter 6 showed that dysregulated glucose metabolism, measured as higher glycated hemoglobin levels, was associated with increased highly-differentiated T-cells in CMV-infected individuals. Furthermore, hyperglycemia interacted with CMV infection for a further increased accumulation of these cells. In sum, these results suggest that CMV and psychosocial and behavioral factors co-determine the progression of immunosenescence, and that CMV reactivation may reflect imbalance among these factors. Thus, CMV reactivation is proposed as a common pathway in psychobiological relationships with immunosenescence.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Burns, Victoria and Bosch, Jos
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Subjects:QR180 Immunology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:5654
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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