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Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism (CIM)


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299Low-dose endotoxemia and human neuropsychological functions.
Krabbe KS; Reichenberg A; Yirmiya R; Smed A; Pedersen BK; Bruunsgaard H
Brain Behav Immun 2005; 19(5): 453-60
PubMed ID: 15963684

Epidemiological data demonstrate an association between systemic low-grade inflammation defined as 2- to 3-fold increases in circulating inflammatory mediators and age-related decline in cognitive function. However, it is not known whether small elevations of circulating cytokine levels cause direct effects on human neuropsychological functions. We investigated changes in emotional, cognitive, and inflammatory parameters in an experimental in vivo model of low-grade inflammation. In a double-blind crossover study, 12 healthy young males completed neuropsychological tests before as well as 1.5, 6, and 24 h after an intravenous injection of Escherichia coli endotoxin (0.2 ng/kg) or saline in two experimental sessions. Endotoxin administration had no effect on body temperature, cortisol levels, blood pressure or heart rate, but circulating levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin (IL)-6 increased 2- and 7-fold, respectively, reaching peak values at 3 h, whereas soluble TNF-receptors and IL-1 receptor antagonist peaked at 4.5 h. The neutrophil count increased and the lymphocyte count declined. In this model, low-dose endotoxemia did not affect cognitive performance significantly but declarative memory performance was inversely correlated with cytokine increases. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate a negative association between circulating IL-6 and memory functions during very low-dose endotoxemia independently of physical stress symptoms, and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis.

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