Chronic psychosocial stress down-regulates central cytokines mRNA

Alessandro Bartolomucci, Paola Palanza, Stefano Parmigiani, Tiziana Pederzani, Elodie Merlot, Pierre J. Neveu, Robert Dantzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Brain cytokines have been implicated in brain plasticity and mood alterations. We present here the first evidence of a chronic stress-induced modulation of central cytokines, in absence of experimentally induced inflammatory processes. Several brain areas were extracted from stressed and control mice and cytokines mRNA analyzed with semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Mice subjected to chronic psychosocial stress showed decreased interleukin (IL)-1β mRNA levels in the hippocampus, decreased IL-1Receptor antagonist in the striatum and pituitary, decreased tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in the striatum and hippocampus, and decreased glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in the striatum and hippocampus compared to group housed sibling mice. An independent group of mice subjected to chronic psychosocial stress also showed increased plasma corticosterone. These findings may open new perspectives for understanding the pathophysiological basis of chronic stress-induced disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-178
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 30 2003
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by Italian MURST (COFIN 2000) and University of Parma (FIN 2000-01) and DGA (agreement no. Authors wish to thank all the colleagues of the U394-INSERM of Bordeaux, and in particular J. Arsaut, G. Hebert, J.P. Konsman, E. Moze, for their kind help provided in several phases of the present study. V. Vascelli is acknowledged for technical assistance.


  • Corticosterone
  • Glucocorticoid receptors
  • Hippocampus
  • IL-1β
  • Striatum
  • TNF-α


Dive into the research topics of 'Chronic psychosocial stress down-regulates central cytokines mRNA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this