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Mouse chronic social stress increases blood and brain kynurenine pathway activity and fear behaviour: both effects are reversed by inhibition of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase


Fuertig, René; Azzinnari, Damiano; Bergamini, Giorgio; Cathomas, Flurin; Sigrist, Hannes; Seifritz, Erich; Vavassori, Stefano; Luippold, Andreas; Hengerer, Bastian; Ceci, Angelo; Pryce, Christopher R (2016). Mouse chronic social stress increases blood and brain kynurenine pathway activity and fear behaviour: both effects are reversed by inhibition of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 54:59-72.

Abstract

Psychosocial stress is a major risk factor for mood and anxiety disorders, in which excessive reactivity to aversive events/stimuli is a major psychopathology. In terms of pathophysiology, immune-inflammation is an important candidate, including high blood and brain levels of metabolites belonging to the kynurenine pathway. Animal models are needed to study causality between psychosocial stress, immune-inflammation and hyper-reactivity to aversive stimuli. The present mouse study investigated effects of psychosocial stress as chronic social defeat (CSD) versus control-handling (CON) on: Pavlovian tone-shock fear conditioning, activation of the kynurenine pathway, and efficacy of a specific inhibitor (IDOInh) of the tryptophan-kynurenine catabolizing enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO1), in reversing CSD effects on the kynurenine pathway and fear. CSD led to excessive fear learning and memory, whilst repeated oral escitalopram (antidepressant and anxiolytic) reversed excessive fear memory, indicating predictive validity of the model. CSD led to higher blood levels of TNF-α, IFN-γ, kynurenine (KYN), 3-hydroxykynurenine (3-HK) and kynurenic acid, higher KYN and 3-HK in amygdala and hippocampus. However, CSD was without effect on IDO1 gene or protein expression in spleen, ileum and liver, whilst increasing liver TDO2 gene expression. Nonetheless, oral IDOInh reduced blood and brain levels of KYN and 3-HK in CSD mice to CON levels, and we therefore infer that CSD increases IDO1 activity by increasing its post-translational activation. Furthermore, repeated oral IDOInh reversed excessive fear memory in CSD mice to CON levels. IDOInh reversal of CSD-induced hyper-activity in the kynurenine pathway and fear system contributes significantly to the evidence for a causal pathway between psychosocial stress, immune-inflammation and the excessive fearfulness that is a major psychopathology in stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders.

Abstract

Psychosocial stress is a major risk factor for mood and anxiety disorders, in which excessive reactivity to aversive events/stimuli is a major psychopathology. In terms of pathophysiology, immune-inflammation is an important candidate, including high blood and brain levels of metabolites belonging to the kynurenine pathway. Animal models are needed to study causality between psychosocial stress, immune-inflammation and hyper-reactivity to aversive stimuli. The present mouse study investigated effects of psychosocial stress as chronic social defeat (CSD) versus control-handling (CON) on: Pavlovian tone-shock fear conditioning, activation of the kynurenine pathway, and efficacy of a specific inhibitor (IDOInh) of the tryptophan-kynurenine catabolizing enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO1), in reversing CSD effects on the kynurenine pathway and fear. CSD led to excessive fear learning and memory, whilst repeated oral escitalopram (antidepressant and anxiolytic) reversed excessive fear memory, indicating predictive validity of the model. CSD led to higher blood levels of TNF-α, IFN-γ, kynurenine (KYN), 3-hydroxykynurenine (3-HK) and kynurenic acid, higher KYN and 3-HK in amygdala and hippocampus. However, CSD was without effect on IDO1 gene or protein expression in spleen, ileum and liver, whilst increasing liver TDO2 gene expression. Nonetheless, oral IDOInh reduced blood and brain levels of KYN and 3-HK in CSD mice to CON levels, and we therefore infer that CSD increases IDO1 activity by increasing its post-translational activation. Furthermore, repeated oral IDOInh reversed excessive fear memory in CSD mice to CON levels. IDOInh reversal of CSD-induced hyper-activity in the kynurenine pathway and fear system contributes significantly to the evidence for a causal pathway between psychosocial stress, immune-inflammation and the excessive fearfulness that is a major psychopathology in stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:18 Jan 2016 15:38
Last Modified:31 Dec 2016 01:00
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0889-1591
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2015.12.020
PubMed ID:26724575

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