Peripheral immune activation results in physiological and behavioral responses including changes in the level of behavioral arousal. One mechanism through which immune activation can influence these responses is via actions on brainstem neuromodulatory systems, including serotonergic systems. To investigate the effects of peripheral immune activation on serotonergic systems and behavior, and the potential role of prostanoids in mediating these effects, we compared the effects of intraperitoneal injections of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), in the presence or absence of the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin, on total plasma L-tryptophan concentrations, Fos expression in subdivisions of the brainstem raphe complex, and home cage behaviors. Peripheral LPS administration had no effect on total plasma L-tryptophan concentrations but increased Fos expression in serotonergic neurons selectively within the interfascicular (DRI) and ventrolateral (DRVL) subdivisions of the dorsal raphe nucleus 4 h following treatment; pretreatment with indomethacin blocked the LPS-induced increases in Fos expression within the DRI and DRVL. Peripheral LPS administration decreased measures of behavioral arousal including locomotion, rearing, climbing, and self-grooming; LPS administration had no effect on these behaviors in mice pretreated with indomethacin. The indomethacin-sensitive effects of LPS on Fos expression in the DRI may be due to selective activation of Type II serotonergic neurons which are largely restricted to the DRI region and have unique afferent regulatory mechanisms and behavioral correlates. Further studies of the effects of peripheral immune activation on DRI serotonergic systems may lead to a better understanding of the relationships among immune function, serotonergic systems, and behavior.
|Pages (from-to)||569 - 577|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Brain, Behavior, and Immunity|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|