Soluble interleukin-6 receptor induces motor stereotypies and co-localizes with gp130 in regions linked to cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical circuits

Ankur Patel, Youhua Zhu, Eldo V. Kuzhikandathil, William A. Banks, Allan Siegel, Steven S. Zalcman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Soluble cytokine receptors are normal constituents of body fluids that regulate peripheral cytokine and lymphoid activity and whose levels are increased in states of immune activation. Soluble interleukin-6 receptor (sIL-6R) levels positively correlate with disease progression in some autoimmune conditions and psychiatric disorders. Particularly strong links between levels of sIL-6R and the severity of psychotic symptoms occur in schizophrenia, raising the possibility that sIL-6R is involved in this disease. However, there is no evidence that peripheral sIL-6R induces relevant behavioral disturbances. We showed that single subcutaneous injections of sIL-6R (0-1 μg), stimulated novelty stress-induced exploratory motor behaviors in male Balb/c mice within 20-40-min of injection. A progressive increase in vertical stereotypies was observed 40-80 min post injection, persisting for the remainder of the test session. Paralleling these stimulant-like effects, sIL-6R pre-treatment significantly enhanced stereotypy scores following challenge with GBR 12909. We found that peripherally administered sIL-6R crossed the blood-brain barrier, localizing in brain regions associated with cortico-striatal-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) circuits, which are putative neuroanatomical substrates of disorders associated with repetitive stereotypies. Peripherally administered sIL-6R co-localized with gp130, a transmembrane protein involved in IL-6 trans-signaling, in the nucleus accumbens, caudate-putamen, motor and infralimbic cortices, and thalamic nuclei, but not with gp130 in the ventral tegmental area, substantia nigra, or sensorimotor cortex,. The results suggest that peripheral sIL-6R can act as a neuroimmune messenger, crossing the blood brain barrier (BBB) to selectively target CSTC circuits rich in IL-6 trans-signaling protein, and inducing repetitive stereotypies. As such sIL-6R may represent a novel therapeutic agent for relevant psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere41623
JournalPloS one
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 23 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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