The present study evaluated the effect of a conditioned aversive stimulus (CS) on the development of adjuvant-induced arthritis in Lewis rats. Experiment 1 showed that presentation of a CS, on days 12, 14, and 16 following injection with adjuvant containing mycobacterium tuberculosis, resulted in a pronounced suppression of the development of arthritis as measured by a clinical disease severity rating scale and spleen weight. In contrast, presentation of the CS on days 0, 2, and 4 following injection did not have any effect on the development of arthritis. Experiment 2 showed that the suppression of adjuvant arthritis by exposure to the CS was blocked by administration of propranolol, a nonselective β-adrenergic receptor antagonist. These results demonstrate that a CS can alter the development of adjuvant-induced arthritis, but the effect is dependent upon the timing of the antigen exposure and the presentation of the CS. Moreover, the present findings suggest that blocking β-adrenergic receptors during presentations of the CS prevents the suppressive effect of the CS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Behavioral Neuroscience