Behavioral Deficits Are Accompanied by Immunological and Neurochemical Changes in a Mouse Model for Neuropsychiatric Lupus (NP-SLE)

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  • Yan Li, Lundbeck Research US, Paramus, NJ, USA, United States
  • Amanda Eskelund
  • H Zhou, Lundbeck Research US, Paramus, NJ, USA, United States
  • David P Budac, Lundbeck Research US, Paramus, NJ, USA, Denmark
  • Connie Sanchez, Lundbeck Research US, Paramus, NJ, USA, United States
  • M Gulinello, Lundbeck Research US, Paramus, NJ, USA, United States
Neuropsychiatric symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (NP-SLE) have been understudied compared to end-organ failure and peripheral pathology. Neuropsychiatric symptoms, particularly affective and cognitive indications, may be among the earliest manifestations of SLE. Among the potential pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for NP-SLE are increased peripheral pro-inflammatory cytokines, subsequent induction of indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and activation of the kynurenine pathway. In the MRL/MpJ-Faslpr (MRL/lpr) murine model of lupus, depression-like behavior and cognitive dysfunction is evident before significant levels of autoantibody titers and nephritis are present. We examined the behavioral profile of MRL/lpr mice and their congenic controls, a comprehensive plasma cytokine and chemokine profile, and brain levels of serotonin and kynurenine pathway metabolites. Consistent with previous studies, MRL/lpr mice had increased depression-like behavior and visuospatial memory impairment. Plasma levels of different inflammatory molecules (Haptoglobin, interleukin 10 (IL-10), interferon γ-inducible protein 10 (IP-10/CXCL10), lymphotactin, macrophage inhibitory protein 3β (MIP-3β/CCL19), monocyte chemotactic protein 1, 3 and 5 (MCP-1/CCL2, MCP-3/CCL7, MCP-5/CCL12), vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), lymphotactin and interferon γ (IFN-γ)) were increased in MRL/lpr mice. In cortex and hippocampus, MRL/lpr mice had increased levels of kynurenine pathway metabolites (kynurenine, 3-hydroxykynurenine, 3-hydroxynthranilic acid and quinolinic acid). Therefore, our study suggests that increased cytokine expression may be critical in the regulation subtle aspects of brain function in NP-SLE via induction of IDO and tryptophan/kynurenine metabolism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences (Online)
Pages (from-to)15150-71
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2015

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