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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 635784, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/635784
Research Article

Low Perceived Social Support Is Associated with CD8+CD57+ Lymphocyte Expansion and Increased TNF-α Levels

1Healthcare Workers Service, ASUR, Area Vasta No. 2, 60025 Loreto, Italy
2Occupational Medicine, Department of Clinical and Molecular Science, Polytechnic University of Marche, Torrette, 60020 Ancona, Italy

Received 10 February 2014; Accepted 10 April 2014; Published 27 April 2014

Academic Editor: Peter P. Egeghy

Copyright © 2014 Alfredo Copertaro et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Social support has been supposed to have a positive impact on the function of the immune system. However, the relationship between perceived social support and immune function has not yet been fully investigated. In this cross-sectional study, we investigated the link between perceived social support and lymphocyte subpopulations and cytokines. 232 healthy subjects provided a blood sample and completed the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) questionnaire. Lymphocyte immunophenotypes and cytokines were determined. Significantly increased CD8+CD57+ lymphocytes and TNF-α levels were found in group with low perceived social support. Multivariate linear regression corrected for possible confounders confirmed a significant role of perceived social support in predicting the number of CD8+CD57+ lymphocyte and TNF-α levels. This study supports the association between perceived social support and immune function. In particular, poor social support may be related to a state of chronic inflammation sustained by CD8+CD57+ lymphocyte expansion and increased TNF-α levels.