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Table 1 Factors that Determine whether Psychological Stress May Enhance or Suppress Immune Function

From: Enhancing versus Suppressive Effects of Stress on Immune Function: Implications for Immunoprotection versus Immunopathology

Factor Stress-Induced Immunoenhancement Stress-Induced Immunosuppression
Immune cell redistribution In leukocyte-enriched compartments (eg, skin, sentinel lymphnodes) In leukocyte-depleted compartments (eg, blood, spleen)
Duration of stress or hormone exposure Acute (minutes to hours) Chronic (weeks/months/years)
Concentration of hormone Physiologic stress levels High pharmacologic levels
Source of glucocorticoid Endogenous Synthetic analogues