Social status alters immune regulation and response to infection in macaques.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Snyder-Mackler, N; Sanz, J; Kohn, JN; Brinkworth, JF; Morrow, S; Shaver, AO; Grenier, J-C; Pique-Regi, R; Johnson, ZP; Wilson, ME; Barreiro, LB; Tung, J

Published Date

  • November 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 354 / 6315

Start / End Page

  • 1041 - 1045

PubMed ID

  • 27885030

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5498102

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.aah3580


  • eng