Scientists: Immune system may cause anxiety in response to infection

Scientists: Immune system may cause anxiety in response to infection

American scientists conducted an experiment on mice and found that the immune system can cause anxiety in response to infection. Scientific work published in Nature Immunology.

Scientists: Immune system may cause anxiety in response to infection

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Researchers have long been studying the link between immunity and mental health. Thus, experts from the University of Washington School of Medicine found that in mice with psoriasis, the immune signaling molecule IL-17a caused symptoms similar to depression. It turns out that in humans, this same molecule is associated with resistance to treatment for this disease.

An experiment in rodents has allowed scientists to notice that IL-17a is involved in the development of autism. According to neuroscientist Jonathan Kipnis, he and his colleagues are continuing to study whether a certain amount of IL-17a may cause anxiety in humans.

According to previous results from animal studies, there are multiple links between gut bacteria and anxiety. Scientists speculate that IP (immune system) is a pathway for the transfer of information between the gut and the brain. To confirm their guesses, experts injected rodents with the toxin lipopolysaccharide, which actively produces bacteria and causes a serious immune response. As a result, the mice produced more IL-17a. And if laboratory animals were given antibiotics that kill intestinal bacteria, then IL-17a appeared less.

Scientists conclude that IP not only fights infections, but also influences behavior. Scientific work in this vein continues.

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