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Open AccessArticle

Social Defeat Modulates T Helper Cell Percentages in Stress Susceptible and Resilient Mice

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Münster, 48149 Münster, Germany
2
Department of Behavioural Biology, University of Osnabrück, 49076 Osnabrück, Germany
3
kbo-Inn-Salzach-Klinikum, 83512 Wasserburg am Inn, Germany
4
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 80336 Munich, Germany
5
Department of Neurology, University of Münster, 49149 Münster, Germany
6
Department of Psychiatry, Melbourne Medical School, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
7
The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
8
Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hospital Hygiene, University of Düsseldorf, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
9
Cluster of Excellence EXC 1003, Cells in Motion, University of Münster, 48149 Münster, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(14), 3512; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20143512
Received: 14 June 2019 / Revised: 13 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Psychiatry)
Altered adaptive immunity involving T lymphocytes has been found in depressed patients and in stress-induced depression-like behavior in animal models. Peripheral T cells play important roles in homeostasis and function of the central nervous system and thus modulate behavior. However, the T cell phenotype and function associated with susceptibility and resilience to depression remain largely unknown. Here, we characterized splenic T cells in susceptible and resilient mice after 10 days of social defeat stress (SDS). We found equally decreased T cell frequencies and comparably altered expression levels of genes associated with T helper (Th) cell function in resilient and susceptible mice. Interleukin (IL)-17 producing CD4+ and CD8+ T cell numbers in the spleen were significantly increased in susceptible mice. These animals further exhibited significantly reduced numbers of regulatory T cells (Treg) and decreased gene expression levels of TGF-β. Mice with enhanced Th17 differentiation induced by conditional deletion of PPARγ in CD4+ cells (CD4-PPARγKO), an inhibitor of Th17 development, were equally susceptible to SDS when compared to CD4-PPARγWT controls. These data indicate that enhanced Th17 differentiation alone does not alter stress vulnerability. Thus, SDS promotes Th17 cell and suppresses Treg cell differentiation predominantly in susceptible mice with yet unknown effects in immune responses after stress exposure. View Full-Text
Keywords: social defeat; Immune response; T cells; susceptibility; resilience; major depression; Treg cells; Th17 cells; behavior; PPARγ social defeat; Immune response; T cells; susceptibility; resilience; major depression; Treg cells; Th17 cells; behavior; PPARγ
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Ambrée, O.; Ruland, C.; Zwanzger, P.; Klotz, L.; Baune, B.T.; Arolt, V.; Scheu, S.; Alferink, J. Social Defeat Modulates T Helper Cell Percentages in Stress Susceptible and Resilient Mice. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 3512.

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