Objective social isolation and perceived social isolation are psychosocial stressors that may impair the normal functioning of the neuroimmune system. Chronic activation of the neuro-immuno-endocrine communication and the consequent loss of homeostasis may lead to the appearance of pathologies and associated mood disorders. For example, alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary- adrenal axis and sympathetic nervous system dynamics may account for the observed predisposition to inflammatory diseases following chronic social stress. Therefore, it is necessary to further study the underlying mechanisms in social isolation in order to prevent its deleterious effects on health. The objective of this New Perspective article is to supplement the understanding of the neuroimmunological responses to social isolation and provide a basis for future research in this topic.

Keywords: Social isolation, Psychosocial stress, Neuroimmune responses