Social isolation has dramatic long-term physiological and psychological consequences; however, the mechanisms by which social isolation influences disease outcome are largely unknown. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of social isolation on neuronal damage, neuroinflammation, and functional outcome after focal cerebral ischemia. Male mice were socially isolated (housed individually) or pair housed with an ovariectomized female before induction of stroke, via transient intraluminal middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), or SHAM surgery. In these experiments, peri-ischemic social isolation decreases poststroke survival rate and exacerbates infarct size and edema development. The social influence on ischemic damage is accompanied by an altered neuroinflammatory response; specifically, central interleukin-6 (IL-6) signaling is down-regulated, whereas peripheral IL-6 is up-regulated, in isolated relative to socially housed mice. In addition, intracerebroventricular injection of an IL-6 neutralizing antibody (10 ng) eliminates social housing differences in measures of ischemic outcome. Taken together, these data suggest that central IL-6 is an important mediator of social influences on stroke outcome.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Social isolation enhances neuroinflammatory response to stroke.
Karelina et al. give more detail on how social isolation can alter the expression of the interleukin molecules that regulate inflammation: