I read that stress increases cortisol production and this in turn it inhibits B and T cell activation in vitro. B/T-cells produce antibodies don’t they so how is it that has any sort of affect on wound healing? I looked at a study where IL-1a was decreased in those who were stressed and healing a wound thus just wondering what the role of the T/B cells are? isn’t IL-1a produced by macrophages/neutrophils?
Antibodies have usually no real role in wound healing, since the actual healing does not have anything to do with antibodies or B/T cells, and in case of an infected wound it is usually dealt with neutrophils and to a lesser extent with macrophages. So inhibition of B and T cell function might have an effect only if there’s a prolonged infection that the phagocytes cannot get rid of. And even then the effect of cortisol is likely to be very small.
As far as I know, the reported effects of cortisol on wound healing do not involve B and T cells, and have more to do with reduced effect of neutrophil-associated cytokine functions. Also, apparently only few groups have noticed this phenomenom, so I’m not sure if the effect is that profound anyway.
Cortisol (and stress in general) has multiple functions in the body, so isolating one single cause for possible slower wound healing is probably very difficult in the first place.