Social status alters immune regulation and response to infection in macaques

Noah Snyder-Mackler, Joaquín Sanz, Jordan N. Kohn, Jessica F. Brinkworth, Shauna Morrow, Amanda O. Shaver, Jean Christophe Grenier, Roger Pique-Regi, Zachary P. Johnson, Mark E. Wilson, Luis B. Barreiro, Jenny Tung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social status is one of the strongest predictors of human disease risk and mortality, and it also influences Darwinian fitness in social mammals more generally. To understand the biological basis of these effects, we combined genomics with a social status manipulation in female rhesus macaques to investigate how status alters immune function. We demonstrate causal but largely plastic social status effects on immune cell proportions, cell type-specific gene expression levels, and the gene expression response to immune challenge. Further, we identify specific transcription factor signaling pathways that explain these differences, including low-status-associated polarization of the Toll-like receptor 4 signaling pathway toward a proinflammatory response. Our findings provide insight into the direct biological effects of social inequality on immune function, thus improving our understanding of social gradients in health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1041-1045
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume354
Issue number6315
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 25 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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