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01.12.2017 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Journal of Neuroinflammation 1/2017

Lentivirus-mediated interleukin-1β (IL-1β) knock-down in the hippocampus alleviates lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced memory deficits and anxiety- and depression-like behaviors in mice

Journal of Neuroinflammation > Ausgabe 1/2017
Mengmeng Li, Chenli Li, Hanjie Yu, Xiongxiong Cai, Xinbei Shen, Xin Sun, Jinting Wang, Yanhua Zhang, Chuang Wang



Recent evidence has suggested that peripheral inflammatory responses induced by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) play an important role in neuropsychiatric dysfunction in rodents. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β), a pro-inflammatory cytokine, has been proposed to be a key mediator in a variety of behavioral dysfunction induced by LPS in mice. Thus, inhibition of IL-1β may have a therapeutic benefit in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, the precise underlying mechanism of knock-down of IL-1β in repairing behavioral changes by LPS remains unclear.


The mice were treated with either IL-1β shRNA lentivirus or non-silencing shRNA control (NS shRNA) lentivirus by microinjection into the dentate gyrus (DG) regions of the hippocampus. After 7 days of recovery, LPS (1 mg/kg, i.p.) or saline was administered. The behavioral task for memory deficits was conducted in mice by the novel object recognition test (NORT), the anxiety-like behaviors were evaluated by the elevated zero maze (EZM), and the depression-like behaviors were examined by the sucrose preference test (SPT) and the forced swimming test (FST). Furthermore, the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (Nrf2), heme oxygenase 1 (HO1), IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), neuropeptide VGF (non-acronymic), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were assayed.


Our results demonstrated that IL-1β knock-down in the hippocampus significantly attenuated the memory deficits and anxiety- and depression-like behaviors induced by LPS in mice. In addition, IL-1β knock-down ameliorated the oxidative and neuroinflammatory responses and abolished the downregulation of VGF and BDNF induced by LPS.


Collectively, our findings suggest that IL-1β is necessary for the oxidative and neuroinflammatory responses produced by LPS and offers a novel drug target in the IL-1β/oxidative/neuroinflammatory/neurotrophic pathway for treating neuropsychiatric disorders that are closely associated with neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and the downregulation of VGF and BDNF.
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