PUFA: Mediators for the Nervous, Endocrine, and Immune Systems

Shlomo Yehuda, Sharon Rabinovitz, David I. Mostofsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Three major systems in the body mediate “information” traffic, namely the nervous system, the endocrine system, and the immune system. Chemical or electrical signals to or from other cells are generated and received, signals are modified, and tissues, organs, and muscles are activated as a result of their activities. Conventional wisdom of the past considered each system as independent from the others and able to interact only with component members of its own domain. More recently, this notion has been challenged, and studies have shown that each system is able to interact with external signals and stimuli and, moreover, that each system could interact with the other two systems. Studies of individual differences in autonomic reactivity not only may help identify a disposition to long-term health changes but may better clarify the convergence of the cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, and psychoneuroimmunological systems (Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 1992). Representative reviews of the bidirectionalities within these systems have been provided elsewhere (Dunn, 1989;1995; Song & Leonard, 2000). The biochemical modulation and mediation of the various activities of these systems and, by extension, the behavioral consequences have received less attention than deserved among behavioral neuroscientists. In this chapter, we will attempt to focus our attention on the role of the lipids as they impact the mutifactorial world of the body economy. In addition, although the bidirectionality that exists globally between behavior and physiology is largely beyond the scope of this chapter, the considerations of stress effects on the dynamics of PUFA regulation and associated behaviors are particularly relevant.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFatty Acids
Subtitle of host publicationPhysiological and Behavioral Functions
EditorsDavid I. Mostofsky, Shlomo Yehuda, Norman Salem
Place of PublicationTotowa, NJ
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)978-1-59259-119-0
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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