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Author Notes:

Corresponding author: jt5@duke.edu (J.T.); luis.barreiro@umontreal.ca (L.B.B.)

Noah Snyder-Mackler and Joaquin Sanz contributed equally to this work.

Luis B. Barreiro and Jenny Tung contributed equally to this work.

We thank J. Whitley, A. Tripp, N. Brutto, and J. Johnson for maintaining the study subjects and collecting behavioral data; I. Cummings for assistance with flow cytometry; M. Gutierrez for help with figures; and S. Cole, A. J. Lea, A. Graham, and members of the Tung and Barreiro labs for helpful comments and discussion.

We thank Calcul Québec and Compute Canada for providing access to the supercomputer Briaree from the University of Montreal.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by NIH grants R01-GM102562, P51-OD011132, and T32-AG000139; NSF grant SMA-1306134; the Canada Research Chairs Program 950-228993; and NSERC RGPIN/435917-2013.

J. S. was supported by the Fonds de recherche du Québec-Nature et technologies and the Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé.

Social status alters immune regulation and response to infection in macaques

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Journal Title:



Volume 354, Number 6315


, Pages 1041-1045

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


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.

Copyright information:

© 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved.

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