Krisztina Horváth1, Bibiána Török2, Dóra Zelena2, Krisztina Kovács1
1Molecular Neuroendocrinology Group, The Institute of Experimental Medicine, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest
2Behavioural and Stress Studies Group, The Institute of Experimental Medicine, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest
Introduction: Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a pleiotropic cytokine that is a member of the pro- and anti-inflammatory pathways. Beside its role in the immune response mounting evidence indicates that IL-6 has critical role in CNS function and may contribute in development of several neurological diseases.
Aim: To systematically investigate possible behavioral alterations in IL-6 knockout mice using a battery of behavioral tests.
Method: 24 wild type C57Bl6 mice and 24 transgenic mice (IL-6 KO on C57Bl6 background) were used. Sociability and social novelty-, social interaction-, aggression-, elevated plus
maze-, Y maze-, shuttle box- and operant conditioning tests were used. We measured body-, thymus-, spleen- and adrenal weights and plasma IL-6 levels were determined with ELISA.
Results: IL-6 levels were under the detection limit in KO animals. Mice with IL-6 deficiency showed significantly more defensive behavior during aggression test and visited significantly more arms in the Y maze compared to the control group. Furthermore, in the shuttle box test IL-6 KO mice failed to escape or escaped with significantly higher latency from the foot shock than the control group animals.
Conclusion: In conclusion, we provided evidence that IL-6 deficiency alters the behavioral phenotype of mice. Lack of IL-6 results in passive coping and defense. These results underscore the importance of cytokines in general and IL-6 in particular in the behavioral phenotype.
Doctoral School: Neuroendocrinology
Supervisor: Krisztina Kovács
E-mail address: email@example.com