(Mice) Interleukin 17a and anxiety

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jim mcnamara
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Summary:

A link between the immune system and behavior in the mouse model.
From the abstract:

Meningeal γδ T cells express high levels of the chemokine receptor CXCR6 and seed meninges shortly after birth. Physiological release of IL-17a by these cells was correlated with anxiety-like behavior in mice and was partially dependent on T cell receptor engagement and commensal-derived signals.
The abstract notes that IL-17a is "highly" conserved in vertebrates.

When IL-17a sensing was turned off in the brain, no changes were noted - with the exception of anxiety induced behavior. Knockout mice (I assume -- cannot get through a paywall) did walk boldly out in the open. Which in the wild greatly reduces survival from predation, for example.

This is analogous to that eerie or scary feeling humans get when we go in scary places. Like an unlighted parking lot at night, in a less than a great neighborhood. We tend to avoid those places to start with. Business owners are acutely aware of this, and is why stores open at night have lots of outdoor lighting.

"Meningeal γδ T cells regulate anxiety-like behavior via IL-17a signaling in neurons"
Kalil Alves de Lima, et al
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41590-020-0776-4

The takeaway is there appears to be a direct connection with the immune system and the brain. We are already aware of the effects of adrenal hormone secretion on human responses - example adrenaline.

You will see pop science articles linking this reasearch and Covid-19 anxiety induced mental illness. Hmm.
 
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Likes BillTre

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