Suppression of the development of adjuvant arthritis by a conditioned aversive stimulus

Donald T. Lysle, Linda J. Luecken, Kimberly A. Maslonek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-73
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Behavior and Immunity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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