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Showing papers in "Brain Behavior and Immunity in 2013"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A unique catalogue of phenotype markers and neuronotoxic effects of polarised primary microglia, as a comparative tool to screen neurotherapies, is presented.
Abstract: Microglia mediate multiple facets of neuroinflammation, including cytotoxicity, repair, regeneration, and immunosuppression due to their ability to acquire diverse activation states, or phenotypes. Modulation of microglial phenotype is an appealing neurotherapeutic strategy but a comprehensive study of classical and more novel microglial phenotypic markers in vitro is lacking. The aim of this study was to outline the temporal expression of a battery of phenotype markers from polarised microglia to generate an in vitro tool for screening the immunomodulatory potential of novel compounds. We characterised expression of thirty-one macrophage/microglial phenotype markers in primary microglia over time (4, 12, 36, and 72 h), using RT-qPCR or multiplex protein assay. Firstly, we selected Interleukin-4 (IL-4) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as the strongest M1–M2 polarising stimuli, from six stimuli tested. At each time point, markers useful to identify that microglia were M1 included iNOS, Cox-2 and IL-6 and a loss of M2a markers. Markers useful for quantifying M2b-immunomodulatory microglia included, increased IL-1RA and SOCS3 and for M2a-repair and regeneration, included increased arginase-1, and a loss of the M1 and M2b markers were discriminatory. Additional markers were regulated at fewer time points, but are still likely important to monitor when assessing the immunomodulatory potential of novel therapies. Further, to facilitate identification of how novel immunomodulatory treatments alter the functional affects of microglia, we characterised how the soluble products from polarised microglia affected the type and rate of neuronal death; M1/2b induced increasing and M2a-induced decreasing neuronal loss. We also assessed any effects of prior activation state, to provide a way to identify how a novel compound may alter phenotype depending on the stage of injury/insult progression. We identified generally that a prior M1/2b reduced the ability of microglia to switch to M2a. Altogether, we have characterised a profile of phenotype markers and a mechanism of assessing functional outcome that we can use as a reference guide for first-line screening of novel immunomodulatory therapies in vitro in the search for viable neuroprotectants.

512 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The evidence suggests that the inflammasome may be a new target for the development of treatments for depression, as well as psychosomatic and somato-psycho diseases.
Abstract: Stress is a common occurrence in everyday life and repeated or traumatic stress can be a precipitating factor for illnesses of the central nervous system, as well as peripheral organ systems. For example, severe or long-term psychological stress can not only induce depression, a leading illness worldwide, but can also cause psychosomatic diseases such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Related key questions include how psychological stress influences both brain and peripheral systems, and what detection mechanisms underlie these effects? A clue is provided by the discovery of the pathways underlying the responses to host “danger” substances that cause systemic diseases, but can also contribute to depression. The inflammasome is a protein complex that can detect diverse danger signals and produce the accompanying immune-inflammatory reactions. Interestingly, the inflammasome can detect not only pathogen-associated molecules, but also cell damage-associated molecules such as ATP. Here, we propose a new inflammasome hypothesis of depression and related comorbid systemic illnesses. According to this hypothesis, the inflammasome is a central mediator by which psychological and physical stressors can contribute to the development of depression, and as well as a bridge to systemic diseases. This hypothesis includes an explanation for how psychological stress can influence systemic diseases, and conversely how systemic diseases can lead to psychiatric illnesses. The evidence suggests that the inflammasome may be a new target for the development of treatments for depression, as well as psychosomatic and somato-psycho diseases.

431 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Results are consistent with animal models of exercise and the brain, but are the first to show in humans that exercise-induced increases in temporal lobe functional connectivity are associated with changes in growth factors and may be augmented by greater baseline VEGF.
Abstract: The current study examined how a randomized one-year aerobic exercise program for healthy older adults would affect serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), insulin-like growth factor type 1 (IGF-1), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) - putative markers of exercise-induced benefits on brain function. The study also examined whether (a) change in the concentration of these growth factors was associated with alterations in functional connectivity following exercise, and (b) the extent to which pre-intervention growth factor levels were associated with training-related changes in functional connectivity. In 65 participants (mean age=66.4), we found that although there were no group-level changes in growth factors as a function of the intervention, increased temporal lobe connectivity between the bilateral parahippocampus and the bilateral middle temporal gyrus was associated with increased BDNF, IGF-1, and VEGF for an aerobic walking group but not for a non-aerobic control group, and greater pre-intervention VEGF was associated with greater training-related increases in this functional connection. Results are consistent with animal models of exercise and the brain, but are the first to show in humans that exercise-induced increases in temporal lobe functional connectivity are associated with changes in growth factors and may be augmented by greater baseline VEGF.

347 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Current understanding of the role of new neurons in cognition and behavior is summarized, with an emphasis on the immune system's ability to influence adult hippocampal neurogenesis during both an inflammatory episode and in the healthy uninjured brain.
Abstract: Before the 1990s it was widely believed that the adult brain was incapable of regenerating neurons. However, it is now established that new neurons are continuously produced in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and olfactory bulb throughout life. The functional significance of adult neurogenesis is still unclear, but it is widely believed that the new neurons contribute to learning and memory and/or maintenance of brain regions by replacing dead or dying cells. Many different factors are known to regulate adult neurogenesis including immune responses and signaling molecules released by immune cells in the brain. While immune activation (i.e., enlargement of microglia, release of cytokines) within the brain is commonly viewed as a harmful event, the impact of immune activation on neural function is highly dependent on the form of the immune response as microglia and other immune-reactive cells in the brain can support or disrupt neural processes depending on the phenotype and behavior of the cells. For instance, microglia that express an inflammatory phenotype generally reduce cell proliferation, survival and function of new neurons whereas microglia displaying an alternative protective phenotype support adult neurogenesis. The present review summarizes current understanding of the role of new neurons in cognition and behavior, with an emphasis on the immune system’s ability to influence adult hippocampal neurogenesis during both an inflammatory episode and in the healthy uninjured brain. It has been proposed that some of the cognitive deficits associated with inflammation may in part be related to inflammation-induced reductions in adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Elucidating how the immune system contributes to the regulation of adult neurogenesis will help in predicting the impact of immune activation on neural plasticity and potentially facilitate the discovery of treatments to preserve neurogenesis in conditions characterized by chronic inflammation.

326 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Testing protein levels of cytokines in the blood and three brain regions from offspring of poly(I:C)- and saline-injected mice at five postnatal ages indicates that MIA leads to long-lasting, region-specific changes in brain cytokine changes in offspring that may alter CNS development and behavior.
Abstract: Maternal infection is a risk factor for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia (SZ). Indeed, modeling this risk factor in mice through maternal immune activation (MIA) causes ASD- and SZ-like neuropathologies and behaviors in the offspring. Although MIA upregulates pro-inflammatory cytokines in the fetal brain, whether MIA leads to long-lasting changes in brain cytokines during postnatal development remains unknown. Here, we tested this possibility by measuring protein levels of 23 cytokines in the blood and three brain regions from offspring of poly(I:C)- and saline-injected mice at five postnatal ages using multiplex arrays. Most cytokines examined are present in sera and brains throughout development. MIA induces changes in the levels of many cytokines in the brains and sera of offspring in a region- and age-specific manner. These MIA-induced changes follow a few, unexpected and distinct patterns. In frontal and cingulate cortices, several, mostly pro-inflammatory, cytokines are elevated at birth, followed by decreases during periods of synaptogenesis and plasticity, and increases again in the adult. Cytokines are also altered in postnatal hippocampus, but in a pattern distinct from the other regions. The MIA-induced changes in brain cytokines do not correlate with changes in serum cytokines from the same animals. Finally, these MIA-induced cytokine changes are not accompanied by breaches in the blood–brain barrier, immune cell infiltration or increases in microglial density. Together, these data indicate that MIA leads to long-lasting, region-specific changes in brain cytokines in offspring—similar to those reported for ASD and SZ—that may alter CNS development and behavior.

303 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A model outlining potential biobehavioral pathways that explain how early life stressors leave people vulnerable to these maladaptive outcomes is proposed.
Abstract: There is considerable evidence that stressful early life events influence a variety of physical health problems later in life. Childhood adversity has been linked to elevated rates of morbidity and mortality from a number of chronic diseases. Immune dysregulation may be one potential pathway that explains this link. In this mini-review, we summarize human studies demonstrating that severe early life stressors have lasting immune consequences. We propose a model outlining potential biobehavioral pathways that explain how early life stressors leave people vulnerable to these maladaptive outcomes. Finally, we suggest ideas for future work to test different aspects of this model.

300 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Flattening of the diurnal cortisol rhythm predicts early lung cancer death, adding to growing evidence that circadian disruption accelerates tumor progression.
Abstract: Background Poorly coordinated diurnal cortisol and circadian rest-activity rhythms predict earlier mortality in metastatic breast and colorectal cancer, respectively. We examined the prognostic value of the diurnal cortisol rhythm in lung cancer. Methods Lung cancer patients (n = 62, 34 female) were within 5 years of diagnosis and had primarily non small-cell lung cancer, with disease stage ranging from early to advanced. Saliva collected over two days allowed calculation of the diurnal cortisol slope and the cortisol awakening response (CAR). Lymphocyte numbers and subsets were measured by flow cytometry. Survival data were obtained for 57 patients. Cox Proportional Hazards analyses were used to test the prognostic value of the diurnal cortisol rhythm on survival calculated both from study entry and from initial diagnosis. Results The diurnal cortisol slope predicted subsequent survival over three years. Early mortality occurred among patients with higher slopes, or relatively “flat” rhythms indicating lack of normal diurnal variation (Cox Proportional Hazards p = .009). Cortisol slope also predicted survival time from initial diagnosis (p = .012). Flattened profiles were linked with male gender (t = 2.04, df = 59, p = .046) and low total and cytotoxic T cell lymphocyte counts (r = −.39 and −.30, p = .004 and .035, respectively). After adjustment for possible confounding factors, diurnal slope remained a significant, independent predictor of survival. Conclusions Flattening of the diurnal cortisol rhythm predicts early lung cancer death. Data contribute to growing evidence that circadian disruption accelerates tumor progression.

267 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The current state of the evidence linking inflammation and cancer-related fatigue is examined, drawing from recent human research and from experimental animal models probing effects of cancer and cancer treatment on inflammation and fatigue.
Abstract: Fatigue is one of the most common and distressing side effects of cancer and its treatment, and may persist for years after treatment completion in otherwise healthy survivors. Guided by basic research on neuro-immune interactions, a growing body of research has examined the hypothesis that cancer-related fatigue is driven by activation of the pro-inflammatory cytokine network. In this review, we examine the current state of the evidence linking inflammation and cancer-related fatigue, drawing from recent human research and from experimental animal models probing effects of cancer and cancer treatment on inflammation and fatigue. In addition, we consider two key questions that are currently driving research in this area: what are the neural mechanisms of fatigue, and what are the biological and psychological factors that influence the onset and/or persistence of inflammation and fatigue in cancer patients and survivors? Identification of the mechanisms driving cancer-related fatigue and associated risk factors will facilitate the development of targeted interventions for vulnerable patients.

256 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Evidence of altered hippocampal volume and verbal memory difficulties following breast cancer chemotherapy that may be mediated by TNFα and IL-6 is provided.
Abstract: Many survivors of breast cancer show significant cognitive impairments, including memory deficits. Inflammation induced by chemotherapy may contribute to hippocampal changes that underlie these deficits. In this cross-sectional study, we measured bilateral hippocampal volumes from high-resolution magnetic resonance images in 42 chemotherapy-treated breast cancer survivors and 35 healthy female controls. Patients with breast cancer were, on average, 4.8 ± 3.4 years off-therapy. In a subset of these participants (20 breast cancer, 23 controls), we quantified serum cytokine levels. Left hippocampal volumes and memory performance were significantly reduced and interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) concentrations were significantly elevated in the breast cancer group compared to controls. In the breast cancer group, lower left hippocampal volume was associated with higher levels of TNFα and lower levels of IL-6 with a significant interaction between these two cytokines suggesting a potential modulatory effect of IL-6 on TNFα. Verbal memory performance was associated with cytokine levels and left hippocampal volume in both groups. These findings provide evidence of altered hippocampal volume and verbal memory difficulties following breast cancer chemotherapy that may be mediated by TNFα and IL-6.

252 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Behavioral interventions designed to reduce emotional reactivity may be of therapeutic benefit in chronic inflammatory conditions and mindfulness practice, in particular, may be more efficacious in symptom relief than the well-being promoting activities cultivated in the HEP program.
Abstract: Psychological stress is a major provocative factor of symptoms in chronic inflammatory conditions. In recent years, interest in addressing stress responsivity through meditation training in health-related domains has increased astoundingly, despite a paucity of evidence that reported benefits are specific to meditation practice. We designed the present study to rigorously compare an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) intervention to a well-matched active control intervention, the Health Enhancement Program (HEP) in ability to reduce psychological stress and experimentally-induced inflammation. The Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) was used to induce psychological stress and inflammation was produced using topical application of capsaicin cream to forearm skin. Immune and endocrine measures of inflammation and stress were collected both before and after MBSR training. Results show those randomized to MBSR and HEP training had comparable post-training stress-evoked cortisol responses, as well as equivalent reductions in self-reported psychological distress and physical symptoms. However, MBSR training resulted in a significantly smaller post-stress inflammatory response compared to HEP, despite equivalent levels of stress hormones. These results suggest behavioral interventions designed to reduce emotional reactivity may be of therapeutic benefit in chronic inflammatory conditions. Moreover, mindfulness practice, in particular, may be more efficacious in symptom relief than the well-being promoting activities cultivated in the HEP program.

241 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The data suggest that lower n-6:n-3 PUFA ratios can impact cell aging, and the triad of inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune cell aging represents important pre-disease mechanisms that may be ameliorated through nutritional interventions.
Abstract: Shorter telomeres have been associated with poor health behaviors, age-related diseases, and early mortality. Telomere length is regulated by the enzyme telomerase, and is linked to exposure to proinflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress. In our recent randomized controlled trial, omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) supplementation lowered the concentration of serum proinflammatory cytokines. This study assessed whether n-3 PUFA supplementation also affected leukocyte telomere length, telomerase, and oxidative stress. In addition to testing for group differences, changes in the continuous n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio were assessed to account for individual differences in adherence, absorption, and metabolism. The double-blind four-month trial included 106 healthy sedentary overweight middle-aged and older adults who received (1) 2.5g/day n-3 PUFAs, (2) l.25g/day n-3 PUFAs, or (3) placebo capsules that mirrored the proportions of fatty acids in the typical American diet. Supplementation significantly lowered oxidative stress as measured by F2-isoprostanes (p=0.02). The estimated geometric mean log-F2-isoprostanes values were 15% lower in the two supplemented groups compared to placebo. Although group differences for telomerase and telomere length were nonsignificant, changes in the n-6:n-3 PUFA plasma ratios helped clarify the intervention's impact: telomere length increased with decreasing n-6:n-3 ratios, p=0.02. The data suggest that lower n-6:n-3 PUFA ratios can impact cell aging. The triad of inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune cell aging represents important pre-disease mechanisms that may be ameliorated through nutritional interventions. This translational research broadens our understanding of the potential impact of the n-6:n-3 PUFA balance. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00385723.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The data suggest oxidative stress and inflammatory processes are positively associated in untreated MDD, consistent with the hypothesis that the homeostatic buffering mechanisms regulating oxidation and inflammation in healthy individuals become dysregulated in untreatedMDD, and may be improved with antidepressant treatment.
Abstract: Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress have been implicated in the pathophysiology of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), as well as in a number of chronic medical conditions. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between peripheral inflammatory and oxidative stress markers in un-medicated subjects with MDD compared to non-depressed healthy controls and compared to subjects with MDD after antidepressant treatment. We examined the relationships between IL-6, IL-10, and the IL-6/IL-10 inflammatory ratio vs. F2-isoprostanes (F2-IsoP), a marker of oxidative stress, in un-medicated MDD patients (n = 20) before and after 8 weeks of open-label sertraline treatment (n = 17), compared to healthy non-depressed controls (n = 20). Among the un-medicated MDD subjects, F2-IsoP concentrations were positively correlated with IL-6 concentrations (p < 0.05) and were negatively correlated with IL-10 concentrations (p < 0.01). Accordingly, F2-IsoP concentrations were positively correlated with the ratio of IL-6/IL-10 (p < 0.01). In contrast, in the control group, there were no significant correlations between F2-IsoPs and either cytokine or their ratio. After MDD subjects were treated with sertraline for 8 weeks, F2-IsoPs were no longer significantly correlated with IL-6, IL-10 or the IL-6/IL-10 ratio. These data suggest oxidative stress and inflammatory processes are positively associated in untreated MDD. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the homeostatic buffering mechanisms regulating oxidation and inflammation in healthy individuals become dysregulated in untreated MDD, and may be improved with antidepressant treatment. These findings may help explain the increased risk of comorbid medical illnesses in MDD.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is confirmed that genetic variants influence the biological mechanisms by which the innate immune system contributes to the development of depression, however, future studies are necessary to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying these associations.
Abstract: The role for dysregulation of the immune system in the pathogenesis of depressive disorder is well established, and emerging research suggests the role of an underlying genetic vulnerability. The purpose of this review is to summarize the existing literature on the genetic variants involved in neurobiological pathways associated with both immune activation and depression. Using PubMed, Scopus, The Cochrane Library, Embase, Ovid of Medline, PsycINFO and ISI web of Knowledge, we selected 52 papers which are relevant for this literature review. Findings across the literature suggest that functional allelic variants of genes for interleukin-1beta (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and C-reactive protein (CRP), as well as genetic variations affecting T-cell function, may increase the risk for depression. Moreover, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-11 genes, and in those regulating T-cell function may be associated with reduced responsiveness to antidepressant therapy. There is also some evidence indicative of a role of genetic variants of the enzymes, Cyclo-oxygenase2 (COX-2) and Phospholipase2 (PLA2), in the aetiology of depression. Finally, SNPs in genes related to the serotonin pathway may play a fundamental role in the shared genetic liability to both immune activation and depressive symptoms. Our review confirms that genetic variants influence the biological mechanisms by which the innate immune system contributes to the development of depression. However, future studies are necessary to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying these associations.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is indicated that non-motor features of PD such as depression, fatigue, and cognitive impairment are associated with higher CSF levels of inflammatory markers.
Abstract: Neuroinflammation may be involved in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD) and specifically in non-motor symptoms such as depression, fatigue and cognitive impairment. The aim of this study was to measure inflammatory markers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from PD patients and a reference group, and to investigate correlations between non-motor symptoms and inflammation. We quantified C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, eotaxin, interferon gamma-induced protein-10, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), and macrophage inflammatory protein 1-β in CSF samples from PD patients (N=87) and the reference group (N=33). Sixteen of the PD patients had a dementia diagnosis (PDD). We assessed symptoms of fatigue, depression, anxiety and cognitive function using the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Mini Mental State Examination, respectively. There were no significant differences in mean levels of inflammatory markers between PD patients and the reference group. After controlling for age, gender and somatic illness, patients with PDD had significantly higher levels of CRP compared to non-demented PD patients (p=0.032) and the reference group (p=0.026). Increased levels of inflammatory markers in CSF were significantly associated with more severe symptoms of depression, anxiety, fatigue, and cognition in the entire PD group. After controlling for PD duration, age, gender, somatic illness and dementia diagnosis, high CRP levels were significantly associated with more severe symptoms of depression (p=0.010) and fatigue (p=0.008), and high MCP-1 levels were significantly associated with more severe symptoms of depression (p=0.032). Our results indicate that non-motor features of PD such as depression, fatigue, and cognitive impairment are associated with higher CSF levels of inflammatory markers.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The functional properties of IL-1R2 are detailed and its role in human disease is examined, which has been implicated in arthritis, endometriosis, organ transplantation, sepsis/sickness behavior, diabetes, atherosclerosis, autoimmune inner ear disease, Alzheimer's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Abstract: The cytokine IL-1 is critical to the pathogenesis of a variety of human conditions and diseases. Unlike most other cytokines, IL-1 is counterbalanced by two endogenous inhibitors. The functional significance of IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) is well documented due to the clinical utilization of the recombinant human IL-1RA analog, anakinra. In contrast, much less is known about the type 2 IL-1 receptor (IL-1R2), which acts as a decoy receptor for IL-1. While IL-1R2 is structurally similar to the type 1 IL-1 receptor (IL-1R1) responsible for IL-1 signal transduction, its truncated cytoplasmic domain and lack of Toll-IL-1 receptor (TIR) region renders IL-1R2 incapable of transmembrane signaling. IL-1R2 competes with IL-1R1 for ligands and for the IL-1R1 co-receptor, IL-1 receptor accessory protein (IL-1RAP). Additionally, IL-1R2 exists in both a membrane bound and soluble form (sIL-1R2) that has biological properties similar to both a decoy receptor and a binding protein. Thus far, IL-1R2 has been implicated in arthritis, endometriosis, organ transplantation, sepsis/sickness behavior, diabetes, atherosclerosis, autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED), Alzheimer’s disease and ulcerative colitis. In this review, we will detail the functional properties of IL-1R2 and examine its role in human disease.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: First-episode psychosis is characterised by a pro-inflammatory state supported partly by activation of leukocytes and stress contributes to this pro- inflammatory state.
Abstract: An inflammatory syndrome has been previously reported in chronic schizophrenia. The aims of this study were to investigate: (1) serum levels and leukocyte gene expression of cytokines in patients with first-episode psychosis and controls; and (2) possible causes of abnormal cytokine levels in first-episode psychosis, testing their association with psychosocial stressors, current nicotine and cannabis use, and duration of antipsychotic treatment. We recruited 24 first-episode psychosis patients and 24 healthy controls matched for age, gender, ethnicity and body mass index. Serum interleukin(IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, Tumour Necrosis Factor- α (TNF-α), Interferon- γ (IFN-γ), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) were analysed in all subjects. Leukocyte gene expression analyses were conducted only for those cytokines that were different between-groups in the serum analyses. Patients had significantly higher serum levels of IL-1α (effect size d=0.6, p=0.03), IL-1β (d=0.4, p=0.01), IL-8 (d=0.6, p=0.01) and TNF-α (d=0.7, p=0.05) and a trend for higher IL-6 serum levels (d=0.3, p=0.09) when compared with controls. Leukocyte m-RNA levels of IL-1α (d=0.6, p=0.04), IL-6 (d=0.7, p=0.01) and TNF-α (d=1.6, p<0.001), but not IL-1β and IL-8, were also significantly higher in patients. A history of childhood trauma was associated with higher TNF-α serum levels (p=0.01), while more recent stressful life-events were associated with higher TNF-α mRNA levels in leukocytes (p=0.002). In conclusion, first-episode psychosis is characterised by a pro-inflammatory state supported, at least in part, by activation of leukocytes. Past and recent stressors contribute to this pro-inflammatory state.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Findings provide confirmatory evidence of frontal morphometric changes that may be a pathophysiological basis for cancer and treatment-related cognitive dysfunction and further research into individual risk factors for such changes will be critical for development of treatment and prevention strategies.
Abstract: Cognitive changes related to cancer and its treatment have been intensely studied, and neuroimaging has begun to demonstrate brain correlates. In the first prospective longitudinal neuroimaging study of breast cancer (BC) patients we recently reported decreased gray matter density one month after chemotherapy completion, particularly in frontal regions. These findings helped confirm a neural basis for previously reported cognitive symptoms, which most commonly involve executive and memory processes in which the frontal lobes are a critical component of underlying neural circuitry. Here we present data from an independent, larger, more demographically diverse cohort that is more generalizable to the BC population. BC patients treated with (N = 27) and without (N = 28) chemotherapy and matched healthy controls (N = 24) were scanned at baseline (prior to systemic treatment) and one month following chemotherapy completion (or yoked intervals for non-chemotherapy and control groups) and APOE-genotyped. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) showed decreased frontal gray matter density after chemotherapy, as observed in the prior cohort, which was accompanied by self-reported difficulties in executive functioning. Gray matter and executive symptom changes were not related to APOE e4 status, though a somewhat greater percentage of BC patients who received chemotherapy were e4 allele carriers than patients not treated with chemotherapy or healthy controls. These findings provide confirmatory evidence of frontal morphometric changes that may be a pathophysiological basis for cancer and treatment-related cognitive dysfunction. Further research into individual risk factors for such changes will be critical for development of treatment and prevention strategies.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is found that MBI-ld significantly enhanced mindfulness by 2-months and it was maintained for up to a year when compared to the education control, and it seems most promising for non-obese subjects.
Abstract: We have developed a low dose Mindfulness-Based Intervention (MBI-ld) that reduces the time committed to meetings and formal mindfulness practice, while conducting the sessions during the workday. This reduced the barriers commonly mentioned for non-participation in mindfulness programs. In a controlled randomized trial we studied university faculty and staff (n=186) who were found to have an elevated CRP level,>3.0 mg/ml, and who either had, or were at risk for cardiovascular disease. This study was designed to evaluate if MBI-ld could produce a greater decrease in CRP, IL-6 and cortisol than an active control group receiving a lifestyle education program when measured at the end of the 2 month interventions. We found that MBI-ld significantly enhanced mindfulness by 2-months and it was maintained for up to a year when compared to the education control. No significant changes were noted between interventions in cortisol, IL-6 levels or self-reported measures of perceived stress, depression and sleep quality at 2-months. Although not statistically significant (p=.08), the CRP level at 2-months was one mg/ml lower in the MBI-ld group than in the education control group, a change which may have clinical significance (Ridker et al., 2000; Wassel et al., 2010). A larger MBI-ld effect on CRP (as compared to control) occurred among participants who had a baseline BMI 30 (-0.18 mg/ml). We conclude that MBI-ld should be more fully investigated as a low-cost self-directed complementary strategy for decreasing inflammation, and it seems most promising for non-obese subjects.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: PET with [¹¹C]PBR28, which binds to the neuroinflammation marker translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO), to compare the level of TSPO between individuals with depression and control subjects found no statistically significant difference between the two groups.
Abstract: Depression is associated with systemic inflammation. In animals, systemic inflammation can induce neuroinflammation and activation of microglia; however, postmortem studies have not convincingly shown that there is neuroinflammation in depression. The purpose of this study was to use positron emission tomography (PET) with [11C]PBR28, which binds to the neuroinflammation marker translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO), to compare the level of TSPO between individuals with depression and control subjects. Ten individuals who were in an acute episode of major depression and 10 control subjects matched for TSPO genotype and other characteristics had a PET scan with arterial input function to quantify levels of TSPO in brain regions of interest (ROIs). Total volume of distribution (VT) of [11C]PBR28 was used as a measure of total ligand binding. The primary outcome was the difference in VT between the two groups; this was assessed using a linear mixed model with group as a between-subject factor and region as a within-subject factor. There was no statistically significant difference in [11C]PBR28 binding (VT) between the two groups. In fact, 7 of 10 individuals with depression had lower [11C]PBR28 binding in all ROIs compared to their respective genotype-matched control subjects. Future studies are needed to determine whether individuals with mild-to-moderate depression have lower TSPO levels and to assess whether individuals with severe depression and/or with elevated levels of systemic inflammation might have higher TSPO levels than control subjects.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The many risk factors that arise during the perioperative period are described, acting synergistically to make this short timeframe critical for determining long-term cancer recurrence and prophylactic measures against the immunosuppressive and cancer promoting effects of surgery are suggested.
Abstract: Surgery for the removal of a primary tumor presents an opportunity to eradicate cancer or arrest its progression, but is also believed to promote the outbreak of pre-existing micrometastases and the initiation of new metastases. These deleterious effects of surgery are mediated through various mechanisms, including psychological and physiological neuroendocrine and paracrine stress responses elicited by surgery. In this review we (i) describe the many risk factors that arise during the perioperative period, acting synergistically to make this short timeframe critical for determining long-term cancer recurrence, (ii) present newly identified potent immunocyte populations that can destroy autologous tumor cells that were traditionally considered immune-resistant, thus invigorating the notion of immune-surveillance against cancer metastasis, (iii) describe in vivo evidence in cancer patients that support a role for anti-cancer immunity, (iv) indicate neuroendocrine and paracrine mediating mechanisms of stress- and surgery-induced promotion of cancer progression, focusing on the prominent role of catecholamines and prostaglandins through their impact on anti-cancer immunity, and through direct effects on the malignant tissue and its surrounding, (v) discuss the impact of different anesthetic approaches and other intra-operative procedures on immunity and cancer progression, and (vi) suggest prophylactic measures against the immunosuppressive and cancer promoting effects of surgery.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The findings suggest, consistent with prior speculation, that average to higher levels of Neuroticism can in some cases be associated with health benefits - in this case when it is accompanied by high Conscientiousness.
Abstract: The current study investigated if the Big 5 personality traits predicted interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels in a national sample over the course of 5 years. In addition, interactions among the Big 5 were tested to provide a more accurate understanding of how personality traits may influence an inflammatory biomarker. Data included 1054 participants in the Midlife Development in the U.S. (MIDUS) biomarkers subproject. The Big 5 personality traits were assessed in 2005–2006 as part of the main MIDUS survey. Medication use, comorbid conditions, smoking behavior, alcohol use, body mass index, and serum levels of IL-6 were assessed in 2005–2009 as part of the biomarkers subproject. Linear regression analyses examined personality associations with IL-6. A significant ConscientiousnessNeuroticism interaction revealed that those high in both Conscientiousness and Neuroticism had lower circulating IL-6 levels than people with all other configurations of Conscientiousness and Neuroticism. Adjustment for health behaviors diminished the magnitude of this association but did not eliminate it, suggesting that lower comorbid conditions and obesity may partly explain the lower inflammation of those high in both Conscientiousness and Neuroticism. Our findings suggest, consistent with prior speculation, that average to higher levels of Neuroticism can in some cases be associated with health benefits – in this case when it is accompanied by high Conscientiousness. Using personality to identify those at risk may lead to greater personalization in the prevention and remediation of chronic inflammation.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is suggested that depressive and anxiety-like behaviours elicited by poly I:C are associated with a reduction in BDNF signalling, and activation of the kynurenine pathway, but not a reduce in serotonin.
Abstract: In this study we characterised the ability of the viral mimetic poly I:C to induce a neuroinflammatory response and induce symptoms of depression and anxiety in rats Furthermore, the ability of poly I:C to deplete central tryptophan and serotonin via induction of indolamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO), and also the ability of poly I:C to impact upon expression of the neurotrophin BDNF and its receptor TrkB were examined as potential mechanisms to link inflammation to depression Poly I:C induced a neuroinflammatory response characterised by increased expression of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and CD11b in frontal cortex and hippocampus In the first 24 h following poly I:C administration rats displayed sickness behaviour characterised by reduced locomotor activity and weight gain Anhedonia measured using the saccharin preference test was used as an indicator of depressive behaviour, and poly I:C induced depressive behaviour that persisted for up to 72 h following administration Anxiety was measured using the open field test and anxious behaviour was observed 24 h following poly I:C, a time-point when sickness behaviour had resolved These behavioural changes were accompanied by decreased expression of BDNF and TrkB in hippocampus and frontal cortex In addition, poly I:C increased central IDO expression and increased concentrations of tryptophan, and its metabolite kynurenine However this activation of the kynurenine pathway did not result in reduced central serotonin concentrations These findings suggest that depressive and anxiety-like behaviours elicited by poly I:C are associated with a reduction in BDNF signalling, and activation of the kynurenine pathway, but not a reduction in serotonin

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Social disruption (SDR) stress provides a novel and powerful tool to probe the mechanisms leading to stress-induced alterations in inflammation, tumor growth, progression, and metastasis in cancer.
Abstract: Stress-induced immune dysregulation results in significant health consequences for immune related disorders including viral infections, chronic autoimmune disease, and tumor growth and metastasis. In this mini-review we discuss the sympathetic, neuroendocrine and immunologic mechanisms by which psychosocial stress can impact cancer biology. Both human and animal studies have shown the sympathetic and neuroendocrine responses to psychosocial stress significantly impacts cancer, in part, through regulation of inflammatory mediators. Psychosocial stressors stimulate neuroendocrine, sympathetic, and immune responses that result in the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis, sympathetic nervous system (SNS), and the subsequent regulation of inflammatory responses by immune cells. Social disruption (SDR) stress, a murine model of psychosocial stress and repeated social defeat, provides a novel and powerful tool to probe the mechanisms leading to stress-induced alterations in inflammation, tumor growth, progression, and metastasis. In this review, we will focus on SDR as an important model of psychosocial stress in understanding neural-immune mechanisms in cancer.

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TL;DR: Evidence from clinical studies investigating the effects of structured exercise on blood-based biomarkers associated with cancer progression/metastasis as well findings from preclinical investigations examining the effects and molecular mechanisms of exercise in mouse models of cancer are evaluated.
Abstract: Over the past decade there has been increasing research and clinical interest in the role of exercise therapy/rehabilitation as an adjunct therapy to improve symptom control and management following a cancer diagnosis. More recently, the field of ‘exercise – oncology’ has broadened in scope to investigate whether the benefits extend beyond symptom control to modulate cancer-specific outcomes (i.e., cancer progression and metastasis). Here we review the extant epidemiological evidence examining the association between exercise behavior, functional capacity/exercise capacity, and cancer-specific recurrence and mortality as well as all-cause mortality individuals following a cancer diagnosis. We also evaluate evidence from clinical studies investigating the effects of structured exercise on blood-based biomarkers associated with cancer progression/metastasis as well findings from preclinical investigations examining the effects and molecular mechanisms of exercise in mouse models of cancer. Current gaps in knowledge are also discussed.

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TL;DR: It is indicated that prenatal stress induces a basal proinflammatory status in the hippocampal formation during adulthood that results in an enhanced activation of microglia and astrocytes in response to a proinflammatory insult.
Abstract: Early life experiences, such as prenatal stress, may result in permanent alterations in the function of the nervous and immune systems. In this study we have assessed whether prenatal stress affects the inflammatory response of the hippocampal formation of male mice to an inflammatory challenge during adulthood. Pregnant C57BL/6 mice were randomly assigned to stress (n = 10) or non-stress (n = 10) groups. Animals of the stress group were placed in plastic transparent cylinders and exposed to bright light for 3 sessions of 45 min every day from gestational day 12 to parturition. Non-stressed pregnant mice were left undisturbed. At four months of age, non stressed and prenatally stressed male offspring were killed, 24 h after the systemic administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or vehicle. Under basal conditions, prenatally stressed animals showed increased expression of interleukin 1β and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in the hippocampus and an increased percentage of microglia cells with reactive morphology in CA1 compared to non-stressed males. Furthermore, prenatally stressed mice showed increased TNF-α immunoreactivity in CA1 and increased number of Iba-1 immunoreactive microglia and GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes in the dentate gyrus after LPS administration. In contrast, LPS did not induce such changes in non-stressed animals. These findings indicate that prenatal stress induces a basal proinflammatory status in the hippocampal formation during adulthood that results in an enhanced activation of microglia and astrocytes in response to a proinflammatory insult.

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TL;DR: Daily exercise potentially improves cognition in aging rats by modulating hippocampal neurogenesis and immune and neuroimmune cytokine signaling, and correlational data begin to provide a framework for systematically manipulating these immune and Neuroimmune signaling molecules to test their effects on cognition and Neurogenesis across lifespan in future experiments.
Abstract: We tested whether daily exercise modulates immune and neuroimmune cytokines, hippocampus-dependent behavior and hippocampal neurogenesis in aging male F344 rats (18mo upon arrival). Twelve weeks after conditioned running or control group assignment, the rats were trained and tested in a rapid water maze followed by an inhibitory avoidance task. The rats were BrdU-injected beginning 12days after behavioral testing and killed 3weeks later to quantify cytokines and neurogenesis. Daily exercise increased neurogenesis and improved immediate and 24h water maze discrimination index (DI) scores and 24h inhibitory avoidance retention latencies. Daily exercise decreased cortical VEGF, hippocampal IL-1β and serum MCP-1, GRO-KC and leptin levels but increased hippocampal GRO-KC and IL-18 concentrations. Serum leptin concentration correlated negatively with new neuron number and both DI scores while hippocampal IL-1β concentration correlated negatively with memory scores in both tasks. Cortical VEGF, serum GRO-KC and serum MCP-1 levels correlated negatively with immediate DI score and we found novel positive correlations between hippocampal IL-18 and GRO-KC levels and new neuron number. Pathway analyses revealed distinct serum, hippocampal and cortical compartment cytokine relationships. Our results suggest that daily exercise potentially improves cognition in aging rats by modulating hippocampal neurogenesis and immune and neuroimmune cytokine signaling. Our correlational data begin to provide a framework for systematically manipulating these immune and neuroimmune signaling molecules to test their effects on cognition and neurogenesis across lifespan in future experiments.

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TL;DR: Preliminary findings suggest that post-chemotherapy increases in TNF-α may be playing an important role in the manifestations of cognitive complaints in breast cancer survivors.
Abstract: Post-chemotherapy treated cancer patients frequently report cognitive difficulties. The biology of this phenomenon is poorly understood, with uncertainty about possible direct toxic effects on the brain, secondary effects from systemic inflammation, host factors/genetic predisposition to cognitive complaints, or hormonal changes influencing cognitive function. To elucidate possible mechanisms associated with post-treatment cognitive dysfunction among breast cancer survivors, in 2007 we established a prospective, longitudinal, observational cohort study of early stage breast cancer patients, recruited at the end of initial treatments (primary treatment exposure included surgery, ± radiation, ± chemotherapy), and prior to the initiation of adjuvant endocrine therapy. We assessed cognitive complaints, neuropsychological (NP) test performance, markers of inflammation, and brain imaging at baseline, 6 months and 12 months after enrollment. In this analysis of data from the first 93 patients enrolled in the cohort study, we focus on the relationship of circulating levels of proinflammatory cytokines to cerebral functioning and chemotherapy exposure. Among the proinflammatory cytokines tested (IL-1 ra, sTNF-RII, CRP, and IL-6) at baseline, only sTNF-RII was increased among chemotherapy exposed patients, with a significant decline in the year after treatment (p=0.003). Higher baseline sTNF-RII in chemotherapy patients was significantly associated with increased memory complaints. In chemotherapy exposed patients, the longitudinal decline in sTNF-RII was significantly correlated with fewer memory complaints over 12 months (r=-0.34, p=0.04). Higher baseline sTNF-RII was also associated with relatively diminished brain metabolism in the inferior frontal cortex (r=-0.55, p=0.02), as well as relatively increased inferior frontal metabolism after 1 year, in chemotherapy-exposed subjects. These preliminary findings suggest that post-chemotherapy increases in TNF-α may be playing an important role in the manifestations of cognitive complaints in breast cancer survivors.

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TL;DR: Activation of a cytokine network in the brain is a physiologic relevant phenomenon not only for LTP maintenance but also for certain types of learning.
Abstract: We have previously shown that long-term potentiation (LTP) induces hippocampal IL-1β and IL-6 over-expression, and interfering their signalling either inhibits or supports, respectively, LTP maintenance. Consistently, blockade of endogenous IL-1 or IL-6 restricts or favours hippocampal-dependent memory, effects that were confirmed in genetically manipulated mice. Since cytokines are known for their high degree of mutual crosstalk, here we studied whether a network of cytokines with known neuromodulatory actions is activated during LTP and learning. We found that, besides IL-1β and IL-6, also IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) and IL-18, but not TNFα are over-expressed during LTP maintenance in freely moving rats. The increased expression of these cytokines is causally related to an increase in synaptic strength since it was abrogated when LTP was interfered by blockade of NMDA-glutamate receptors. Likewise, IL-1 and IL-6 were found to be over-expressed in defined regions of the hippocampus during learning a hippocampus-dependent task. However, during learning, changes in IL-18 were restricted to the dorsal hippocampus, and no differences in TNFα and IL1-ra expression were noticed in the hippocampus. Noticeably, IL-1ra transcripts were significantly reduced in the prefrontal cortex. The relation between cytokine expression and learning was causal because such changes were not observed in animals from a pseudo-trained group that was subject to the same manipulation but could not learn the task. Taken together with previous studies, we conclude that activation of a cytokine network in the brain is a physiologic relevant phenomenon not only for LTP maintenance but also for certain types of learning.

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TL;DR: The susceptible animals display a unique molecular profile when compared to resilient, but anxious, animals, which provides a rationale for exploring anti-inflammatory, and possibly, TNF-targeted therapy for major depression.
Abstract: A chronic stress paradigm comprising exposure to predation, tail suspension and restraint induces a depressive syndrome in C57BL/6J mice that occurs in some, but not all, animals. Here, we sought to extend our behavioural studies to investigate how susceptibility (sucrose preference 65%) to stress-induced anhedonia affects the 5HT system and the expression of inflammation-related genes. All chronically stressed animals, displayed increased level of anxiety, but susceptible mice exhibited an increased propensity to float in the forced swim test and demonstrate hyperactivity under stressful lighting conditions. These changes were not present in resilient or acutely stressed animals. Compared to resilient animals, susceptible mice showed elevated expression of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF) and the 5-HT transporter (SERT) in the pre-frontal area. Enhanced expression of 5HT(2A) and COX-1 in the pre-frontal area was observed in all stressed animals. In turn, indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) was significantly unregulated in the raphe of susceptible animals. At the cellular level, increased numbers of Iba-1-positive microglial cells were also present in the prefrontal area of susceptible animals compared to resilient animals. Consequently, the susceptible animals display a unique molecular profile when compared to resilient, but anxious, animals. Unexpectedly, this altered profile provides a rationale for exploring anti-inflammatory, and possibly, TNF-targeted therapy for major depression.

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TL;DR: It is proposed that CNS-specific T cells shape brain function via the choroid plexus, and this immunological control to be lost as part of aging, in general, and immune senescence, in particular.
Abstract: Adaptive immunity was repeatedly shown to play a role in maintaining lifelong brain function. Under physiological conditions, this activity was associated with CD4+ T cells specific for brain self-antigens. Nevertheless, direct interactions of T cells with the healthy neuronal parenchyma are hardly detectable. Recent studies have identified the brain's choroid plexus (CP) as an active neuro-immunological interface, enriched with CNS-specific CD4+ T cells. Strategically positioned for receiving signals from both the central nervous system (CNS) through the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and from the circulation through epithelium-immune cell interactions, the CP has recently been recognized as an important immunological compartment in maintaining and restoring brain homeostasis/allostasis. Here, we propose that CNS-specific T cells shape brain function via the CP, and suggest this immunological control to be lost as part of aging, in general, and immune senescence, in particular. Accordingly, the CP may serve as a novel target for immunomodulation to restore brain equilibrium.